Westlake (NYSE:WLK) Sets New 1-Year High at $127.69

Westlake Co. (NYSE:WLKGet Rating)’s share price reached a new 52-week high during trading on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $127.69 and last traded at $127.05, with a volume of 5276 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $126.65.

A number of research firms have recently commented on WLK. Citigroup raised their price objective on Westlake from $125.00 to $131.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 25th. Wells Fargo & Company raised their target price on Westlake from $135.00 to $150.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, April 8th. UBS Group dropped their target price on Westlake from $90.00 to $89.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 4th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on Westlake from $128.00 to $155.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 5th. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group raised their target price on Westlake from $110.00 to $129.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Westlake presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $123.46.

The company has a market cap of $16.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.21 and a beta of 1.29. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $115.95 and a 200 day moving average price of $104.79. The company has a current ratio of 2.25, a quick ratio of 1.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58.

Westlake (NYSE:WLKGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 22nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $4.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $4.62 by $0.36. Westlake had a return on equity of 26.37% and a net margin of 17.11%. The company had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.04 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.87 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 78.5% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts anticipate that Westlake Co. will post 18.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 1st were given a dividend of $0.2975 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, February 28th. This represents a $1.19 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.94%. Westlake’s dividend payout ratio is currently 7.64%.

In other Westlake news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 6,021 shares of Westlake stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.35, for a total transaction of $748,711.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,730 shares of Westlake stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.55, for a total value of $315,451.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 38,090 shares of company stock valued at $4,720,673 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 73.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Westlake by 37.3% in the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,208,672 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $383,578,000 after buying an additional 1,143,618 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Westlake by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,309,902 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $210,530,000 after acquiring an additional 31,476 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Westlake by 3.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,719,781 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $167,041,000 after acquiring an additional 62,328 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Westlake by 90.2% in the 3rd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,291,436 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $117,701,000 after acquiring an additional 612,509 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Soroban Capital Partners LP acquired a new position in shares of Westlake in the 4th quarter worth $115,498,000.

About Westlake (NYSE:WLK)

Westlake Corporation manufactures and supplies petrochemicals, polymers, and building products worldwide. It operates through two segments, Performance and Essential Materials; and Housing and Infrastructure Products. The Performance and Essential Materials segment manufactures and markets polyethylene, styrene monomer, ethylene co-products, PVC, VCM, ethylene dichloride chlor-alkali, and chlorinated derivative products.

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