Brokerages Anticipate Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) to Announce $1.56 Earnings Per Share


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Equities analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) will report $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Four analysts have made estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.46 to $1.78. Westlake Chemical reported earnings of $0.65 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 140%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Monday, May 3rd.

On average, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full year earnings of $7.45 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.60 to $10.36. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $5.90 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.74 to $8.36. Zacks’ EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Westlake Chemical.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its earnings results on Monday, February 22nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.19. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 5.14% and a return on equity of 4.74%. The company had revenue of $1.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.96 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.56 earnings per share. Westlake Chemical’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several research firms have issued reports on WLK. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $87.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday. TheStreet upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $92.00 to $98.00 in a research note on Monday, March 8th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $102.00 price objective (down from $104.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Monday, March 22nd. Finally, Alembic Global Advisors increased their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $95.00 to $115.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, April 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $80.80.

In other Westlake Chemical news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 15,740 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.70, for a total value of $1,490,578.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 42,120 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,988,764. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CAO Johnathan Stevan Zoeller sold 1,006 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $86.94, for a total value of $87,461.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 1,006 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $87,461.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 92,519 shares of company stock valued at $8,415,449 over the last three months. 73.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 4th quarter worth approximately $41,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical in the 4th quarter valued at $204,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical in the 4th quarter valued at $214,000. CI Investments Inc. raised its stake in Westlake Chemical by 315.6% in the 4th quarter. CI Investments Inc. now owns 2,689 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $219,000 after purchasing an additional 2,042 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bourgeon Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Westlake Chemical by 100.0% in the 4th quarter. Bourgeon Capital Management LLC now owns 3,000 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $245,000 after purchasing an additional 1,500 shares during the last quarter. 28.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

WLK traded up $0.77 during trading on Friday, reaching $95.70. 393,033 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 630,531. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $90.19 and its 200-day moving average price is $81.25. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.26 billion, a PE ratio of 31.69, a P/E/G ratio of 38.49 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 2.09 and a current ratio of 2.85. Westlake Chemical has a fifty-two week low of $36.09 and a fifty-two week high of $97.25.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 2nd were given a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 1st. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.13%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.13%.

About Westlake Chemical

Westlake Chemical Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products worldwide. It operates through two segments, Vinyls and Olefins. The Vinyls segment provides specialty and commodity polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride monomers, ethylene dichloride, chlorine, caustic soda, chlorinated derivative, and ethylene products.

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