Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) has received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the fifteen research firms that are covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $74.56.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on WLK. BidaskClub raised Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Cowen and Company boosted their target price on Westlake Chemical Corporation from $70.00 to $78.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Zacks Investment Research cut Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a research note on Friday, August 4th.

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Shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE WLK) traded down 0.55% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $83.09. 591,268 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $73.94 and its 200-day moving average is $67.25. The stock has a market cap of $10.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.75 and a beta of 1.62. Westlake Chemical Corporation has a 52 week low of $48.92 and a 52 week high of $83.99.

Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.02. Westlake Chemical Corporation had a return on equity of 13.68% and a net margin of 6.57%. The firm had revenue of $1.98 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.85 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 82.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Corporation will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 18th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st were paid a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.01%. This is a boost from Westlake Chemical Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 30th. Westlake Chemical Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 24.00%.

In related news, VP Mark Steven Bender sold 13,794 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.22, for a total value of $968,614.68. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 44,449 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,121,208.78. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 71.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 162.8% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,276 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $151,000 after purchasing an additional 1,410 shares during the period. Verity Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation in the second quarter worth $204,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation in the first quarter worth $205,000. Private Advisor Group LLC purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation in the first quarter worth $215,000. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation in the second quarter worth $219,000. 31.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Westlake Chemical Corporation

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK)

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