Westlake Chemical (WLK) Upgraded to “Buy” at Bank of America

Bank of America upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) from an underperform rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. They currently have $85.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

WLK has been the subject of a number of other reports. Deutsche Bank dropped their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $115.00 to $105.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, December 1st. SunTrust Banks reissued a positive rating and set a $81.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, November 15th. BMO Capital Markets set a $94.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $107.12.

Shares of NYSE WLK opened at $75.07 on Tuesday. Westlake Chemical has a 1-year low of $59.78 and a 1-year high of $124.29. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.72, a P/E/G ratio of 0.69 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a quick ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 2.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44.



Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.35 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.24 by $0.11. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 19.36% and a return on equity of 19.75%. The company had revenue of $2.26 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.61 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Westlake Chemical will post 8.58 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CEO Albert Chao sold 24,509 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.20, for a total value of $1,745,040.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 337,013 shares in the company, valued at $23,995,325.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 72.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical during the fourth quarter worth $163,000. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 2.2% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 5,269,764 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $437,970,000 after purchasing an additional 112,200 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 58.4% during the third quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 113,545 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $9,437,000 after purchasing an additional 41,844 shares during the last quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical during the third quarter worth $954,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 2.2% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,269,764 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $437,970,000 after purchasing an additional 112,200 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.54% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products primarily in North America and Europe. It operates through two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. The Olefins segment offers polyethylene, styrene monomers, and various ethylene co-products, as well as sells propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen products.

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Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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