New York State Common Retirement Fund trimmed its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 9.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 148,079 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 15,700 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund owned approximately 0.11% of Westlake Chemical worth $16,459,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Advisors Preferred LLC bought a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 1st quarter worth $101,000. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 133.8% in the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,501 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $159,000 after purchasing an additional 859 shares during the period. Focused Wealth Management Inc bought a new position in Westlake Chemical in the 1st quarter worth about $195,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. bought a new position in Westlake Chemical in the 1st quarter worth about $203,000. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC bought a new position in Westlake Chemical in the 4th quarter worth about $200,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.70% of the company’s stock.
A number of analysts have recently issued reports on WLK shares. MED reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Thursday, May 17th. Royal Bank of Canada cut Westlake Chemical from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Monday, June 11th. ValuEngine raised Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, May 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut Westlake Chemical from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Cowen lifted their price objective on Westlake Chemical from $122.00 to $124.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, May 11th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Westlake Chemical has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $118.06.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.20 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.09 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $2.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.14 billion. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 17.77% and a net margin of 17.61%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.06 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 8.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 13th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 30th were given a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.77%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, May 29th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 15.36%.
In other Westlake Chemical news, Chairman James Chao sold 33,305 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.69, for a total value of $4,019,580.45. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 51,492 shares in the company, valued at $6,214,569.48. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 12,066 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.83, for a total value of $1,482,066.78. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 27,876 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,424,009.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 70,376 shares of company stock valued at $8,437,710. Company insiders own 72.00% of the company’s stock.
Westlake Chemical 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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