Viking Fund Management LLC Reduces Position in Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK)

Viking Fund Management LLC lowered its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 42.5% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 23,000 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 17,000 shares during the quarter. Viking Fund Management LLC’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $2,450,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in WLK. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 113,600 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $7,521,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 165.2% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 45,411 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,007,000 after buying an additional 28,285 shares during the period. Systematic Financial Management LP bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the 3rd quarter valued at $1,238,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 252.9% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 592,581 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $49,509,000 after buying an additional 424,655 shares during the period. Finally, Royce & Associates LP increased its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 1.1% in the 3rd quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 748,884 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $62,225,000 after buying an additional 8,184 shares during the period. 30.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

WLK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $114.00 price target (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Thursday, November 9th. SunTrust Banks boosted their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical from $102.00 to $113.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Nomura raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $120.00 price target on the stock. Finally, UBS Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $61.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $104.00.

Shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) traded up $2.12 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $110.13. 771,814 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 754,438. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 52 week low of $59.58 and a 52 week high of $114.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 2.31 and a quick ratio of 1.59. The firm has a market cap of $14,120.00, a P/E ratio of 23.89, a PEG ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 1.72.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.65 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.39 by $0.26. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 7.74% and a return on equity of 15.59%. equities research analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 5.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total value of $1,263,701.64. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 10,195 shares in the company, valued at approximately $962,815.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert T. Blakely sold 4,367 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.33, for a total transaction of $403,205.11. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,700 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,080,261. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443 in the last 90 days. 71.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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Westlake Chemical Profile

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. The Company’s products include a range of chemicals, which are fundamental to various consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, water treatment, refrigerants, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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