$1.62 EPS Expected for Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) This Quarter

Wall Street brokerages expect that Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) will report earnings of $1.62 per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have issued estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $2.07 and the lowest is $1.31. Westlake Chemical posted earnings per share of $2.45 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a negative year over year growth rate of 33.9%. The company is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, August 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full-year earnings of $5.57 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.54 to $7.47. For the next year, analysts expect that the firm will post earnings of $7.30 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.07 to $9.00. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Westlake Chemical.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.38 by ($0.44). Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 14.57% and a net margin of 9.18%. The firm had revenue of $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.09 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $2.20 EPS. Westlake Chemical’s revenue was down 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of analysts have commented on the company. Alembic Global Advisors set a $105.00 price objective on Westlake Chemical and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Sunday, May 5th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.82 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 15th. BMO Capital Markets set a $75.00 target price on Westlake Chemical and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, April 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $92.81.

Shares of WLK stock traded down $0.47 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $60.52. The stock had a trading volume of 740,943 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,122,538. The company has a current ratio of 2.14, a quick ratio of 1.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. Westlake Chemical has a one year low of $57.39 and a one year high of $122.76. The company has a market capitalization of $7.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 1.44.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 12th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 28th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.65%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is 12.80%.

In related news, Director H John Riley, Jr. sold 3,327 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.92, for a total transaction of $232,623.84. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 22,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,583,827.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 72.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cerebellum GP LLC increased its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 95.4% in the 1st quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC now owns 4,805 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $326,000 after buying an additional 2,346 shares during the period. Sandbar Asset Management LLP increased its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 444.5% in the 1st quarter. Sandbar Asset Management LLP now owns 13,477 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $915,000 after buying an additional 11,002 shares during the period. PointState Capital LP acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 1st quarter valued at $10,301,000. One Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 1st quarter valued at $165,000. Finally, M&T Bank Corp increased its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 21.4% in the 1st quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 4,259 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $289,000 after buying an additional 751 shares during the period. 27.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Westlake Chemical

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products worldwide. 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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