WestRock (WRK) Earns “Hold” Rating from Barclays

Barclays reissued their hold rating on shares of WestRock (NYSE:WRK) in a research report report published on Friday, November 10th.

WRK has been the subject of several other research reports. Deutsche Bank restated a buy rating and set a $65.00 target price (up previously from $61.00) on shares of WestRock in a report on Monday, October 9th. BidaskClub cut shares of WestRock from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of WestRock from a buy rating to a conviction-buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and set a $69.00 target price on shares of WestRock in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Finally, DA Davidson restated a buy rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of WestRock in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. WestRock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $65.09.

Shares of WestRock (WRK) traded up $0.98 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $60.26. 953,700 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,438,775. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.49 and a quick ratio of 0.89. WestRock has a 52 week low of $49.23 and a 52 week high of $61.60. The company has a market capitalization of $15,090.00 and a P/E ratio of 22.47.

WestRock (NYSE:WRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The basic materials company reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.06. WestRock had a net margin of 4.77% and a return on equity of 6.73%. The company had revenue of $4.06 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.13 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.71 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that WestRock will post 3.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, November 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 10th were issued a $0.43 dividend. This is a positive change from WestRock’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 9th. WestRock’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 62.09%.

In other news, Director John A. Luke, Jr. sold 10,343 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.74, for a total value of $628,233.82. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 497,557 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,221,612.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John A. Luke, Jr. sold 76,855 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.89, for a total transaction of $4,372,280.95. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 543,289 shares in the company, valued at $30,907,711.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 223,145 shares of company stock worth $12,905,295. Insiders own 2.68% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. boosted its position in WestRock by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 87,746 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,088,000 after buying an additional 953 shares during the period. IFM Investors Pty Ltd acquired a new stake in WestRock during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $427,000. Green Square Capital LLC acquired a new stake in WestRock during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $308,000. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in WestRock by 3.5% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 546,304 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $30,992,000 after buying an additional 18,350 shares during the period. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC boosted its position in WestRock by 15.4% during the 3rd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 19,414 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,101,000 after buying an additional 2,590 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.43% of the company’s stock.

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About WestRock

WestRock Company, incorporated on March 6, 2015, is a multinational provider of paper and packaging solutions for consumer and corrugated packaging markets. The Company also develops real estate in the Charleston, South Carolina region. The Company’s segments include Corrugated Packaging, Consumer Packaging, and Land and Development.

Analyst Recommendations for WestRock (NYSE:WRK)

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