Cynosure Advisors LLC decreased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 31.6% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 6,901 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 3,186 shares during the quarter. Cynosure Advisors LLC’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $767,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisors Preferred LLC bought a new position in Westlake Chemical during the first quarter valued at $101,000. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. bought a new position in Westlake Chemical during the first quarter valued at $142,000. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 133.8% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,501 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $159,000 after acquiring an additional 859 shares during the last quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc bought a new position in Westlake Chemical during the first quarter valued at $195,000. Finally, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. bought a new position in Westlake Chemical during the first quarter valued at $203,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.70% of the company’s stock.
Westlake Chemical stock traded up $0.41 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $105.40. 4,822 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 860,069. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 1.79 and a quick ratio of 1.22. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 12 month low of $61.51 and a 12 month high of $124.29. The stock has a market cap of $13.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.35, a PEG ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 1.55.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 13th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 30th were issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, May 29th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 15.36%.
In other Westlake Chemical news, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 1,447 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.88, for a total transaction of $172,019.36. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 2,642 shares in the company, valued at approximately $314,080.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 23,506 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.33, for a total transaction of $2,757,958.98. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 32,636 shares in the company, valued at $3,829,181.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 70,376 shares of company stock worth $8,437,710. 72.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
WLK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. ValuEngine cut shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $121.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday. They set an “outperform” rating and a $150.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut shares of Westlake Chemical from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $110.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, April 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Westlake Chemical presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $119.94.
Westlake Chemical Company 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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