Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) – Analysts at SunTrust Banks raised their FY2017 earnings estimates for Westlake Chemical in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Sheehan now expects that the specialty chemicals company will post earnings per share of $5.74 for the year, up from their prior forecast of $5.58. SunTrust Banks has a “Buy” rating and a $113.00 price target on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Westlake Chemical’s Q4 2017 earnings at $1.89 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $7.43 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $8.36 EPS.

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on WLK. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price target (up from $105.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Nomura raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Cowen upped their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $70.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Alembic Global Advisors reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Friday, November 24th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $100.42.

Shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE WLK) opened at $102.90 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $12,999.83, a P/E ratio of 20.18, a P/E/G ratio of 1.75 and a beta of 1.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a current ratio of 2.31. Westlake Chemical has a 52 week low of $55.83 and a 52 week high of $104.08.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Investors of record on Monday, November 27th were issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.82%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 24th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 18.26%.

In related news, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total transaction of $1,263,701.64. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 10,195 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $962,815.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 6,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.83, for a total transaction of $635,895.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443 in the last ninety days. 72.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 113,600 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $7,521,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 15.1% during the 1st quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 26,028 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,718,000 after buying an additional 3,413 shares during the period. Polaris Greystone Financial Group LLC boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 9.9% during the 2nd quarter. Polaris Greystone Financial Group LLC now owns 17,272 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,144,000 after buying an additional 1,554 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 165.2% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 45,411 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,007,000 after buying an additional 28,285 shares during the period. Finally, Systematic Financial Management LP purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the 3rd quarter valued at $1,238,000. 30.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Westlake Chemical Company Profile

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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