Swiss National Bank reduced its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 84,500 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 3,100 shares during the quarter. Swiss National Bank’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $7,613,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 27.0% during the 1st quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 484 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $42,000 after acquiring an additional 103 shares in the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 1st quarter valued at about $44,000. Eaton Vance Management acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 1st quarter valued at about $103,000. Captrust Financial Advisors boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 6,288.0% in the 1st quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 1,597 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $142,000 after purchasing an additional 1,572 shares during the period. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 1st quarter valued at about $144,000. 25.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
WLK has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada raised Westlake Chemical from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the company from $104.00 to $105.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 21st. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft upped their target price on Westlake Chemical from $105.00 to $112.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 4th. Bank of America raised Westlake Chemical from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $98.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, July 16th. Scotiabank raised Westlake Chemical from a “sector underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $104.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, June 21st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on Westlake Chemical from $98.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $97.69.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $4.04 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.80 by $0.24. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 14.11% and a net margin of 10.29%. The firm had revenue of $2.86 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.65 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.11 EPS. Westlake Chemical’s quarterly revenue was up 67.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 12.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 8th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 24th were paid a $0.2975 dividend. This is an increase from Westlake Chemical’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. This represents a $1.19 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 23rd. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 51.97%.
In other news, CEO Albert Chao acquired 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 11th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $86.21 per share, with a total value of $258,630.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 441,939 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $38,099,561.19. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 73.70% of the company’s stock.
Westlake Chemical Company Profile
Westlake Chemical Corp. manufactures and markets petrochemicals, polymers and fabricated building products. It operates through the following segments: Olefins and Vinyls. The Olefins segment manufactures ethylene, polyethylene and styrene and associated co-products at the manufacturing facility in Lake Charles and polyethylene at the Longview facility.
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