Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) to Announce $0.68 Earnings Per Share

Wall Street analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) will report earnings of $0.68 per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Four analysts have issued estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $1.13 and the lowest is $0.49. Westlake Chemical reported earnings per share of $0.37 in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 83.8%. The company is expected to report its next earnings report before the market opens on Tuesday, February 23rd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full-year earnings of $2.07 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.05 to $2.09. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $3.50 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.53 to $5.21. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Westlake Chemical.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on WLK shares. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on Westlake Chemical from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 4th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $68.00 to $77.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 4th. Scotiabank lowered Westlake Chemical from a “sector perform” rating to a “sector underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $81.00 to $92.00 in a research note on Monday, December 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Westlake Chemical from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, December 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $68.06.

Shares of NYSE:WLK traded down $0.69 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $86.76. The company had a trading volume of 6,957 shares, compared to its average volume of 389,849. Westlake Chemical has a fifty-two week low of $28.99 and a fifty-two week high of $91.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 2.85 and a quick ratio of 2.09. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $84.67 and its 200 day moving average price is $73.76. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 38.49 and a beta of 1.62.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.27 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 1st. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.24%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 33.13%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WLK. Strs Ohio increased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 0.4% during the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 38,581 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,148,000 after purchasing an additional 137 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 4.0% in the 4th quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 4,160 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $339,000 after purchasing an additional 160 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 2.3% during the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 15,407 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $974,000 after buying an additional 346 shares in the last quarter. AGF Investments Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 2.3% in the 4th quarter. AGF Investments Inc. now owns 16,020 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,307,000 after purchasing an additional 365 shares during the period. Finally, Aperio Group LLC increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 1.0% in the 4th quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 47,571 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,882,000 after buying an additional 453 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 28.19% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products worldwide. 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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