Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 21.4% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 89,266 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after purchasing an additional 15,710 shares during the period. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $9,510,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 1.8% during 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. boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 165.2% during 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 purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the 3rd quarter valued at $1,238,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 252.9% during 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 boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 1.1% during 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. 30.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) traded up $2.12 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $110.13. 771,800 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 754,438. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 12-month low of $59.58 and a 12-month high of $114.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a current ratio of 2.31. The stock has a market cap of $14,160.00, a PE ratio of 23.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.72.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.65 EPS for the quarter, topping 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 expect that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 5.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Several equities research analysts have weighed in on WLK shares. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $114.00 price target (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. SunTrust Banks increased their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical from $102.00 to $113.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research 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 for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $120.00 price target for the company. Finally, UBS Group reissued a “sell” rating and set a $61.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $104.00.
In other news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 6,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.83, for a total value of $635,895.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total transaction of $1,263,701.64. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,195 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $962,815.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 293,122 shares of company stock valued at $27,721,443. Corporate insiders own 72.50% of the company’s stock.
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About Westlake Chemical
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.
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