Analysts expect Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) to post $1.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Four analysts have issued estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.89 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.60. Westlake Chemical posted earnings per share of $0.87 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 94.3%. The business is scheduled to announce its next earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th.

On average, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full-year earnings of $5.58 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.45 to $5.74. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the company will post earnings of $7.48 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.19 to $8.46. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Westlake Chemical.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.65 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.39 by $0.26. The firm had revenue of $2.11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.12 billion. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 15.59% and a net margin of 7.74%.

Several research firms have commented on WLK. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Vertical Research downgraded Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $104.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Friday, November 24th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $122.00 target price (up previously from $112.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. Finally, Johnson Rice started coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research note on Monday, November 6th. They set an “accumulate” rating and a $100.00 target price for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Westlake Chemical currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $104.00.

In other Westlake Chemical news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 6,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.83, for a total value of $635,895.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total value of $263,389.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,635 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $653,547.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 293,122 shares of company stock valued at $27,721,443 in the last three months. Insiders own 72.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WLK. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the second quarter valued at approximately $90,442,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 218.5% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 934,937 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $77,683,000 after purchasing an additional 641,432 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 252.9% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 592,581 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $49,509,000 after purchasing an additional 424,655 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 95.2% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 374,624 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $39,719,000 after purchasing an additional 182,734 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 83.3% in the third quarter. Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC now owns 353,980 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $29,412,000 after purchasing an additional 160,825 shares in the last quarter. 30.60% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Westlake Chemical (WLK) opened at $103.00 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 2.31 and a quick ratio of 1.59. The company has a market capitalization of $13,738.32, a PE ratio of 22.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.62. Westlake Chemical has a 1 year low of $59.58 and a 1 year high of $115.19.

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About Westlake Chemical

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. The Company’s products include a range of chemicals, which are fundamental to various consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, water treatment, refrigerants, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.

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