Citigroup Lowers WestRock (NYSE:WRK) to Neutral

Citigroup lowered shares of WestRock (NYSE:WRKGet Rating) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They currently have $45.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $53.00.

WRK has been the subject of a number of other reports. TheStreet lowered shares of WestRock from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Thursday, June 16th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their price target on shares of WestRock from $52.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Monday, April 18th. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their price target on shares of WestRock from $66.00 to $59.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. Finally, StockNews.com lowered shares of WestRock from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, June 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $51.86.

Shares of WestRock stock opened at $38.87 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a current ratio of 1.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.91 billion, a PE ratio of 13.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.36 and a beta of 0.99. WestRock has a 52-week low of $38.40 and a 52-week high of $54.78. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $47.56 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $46.24.

WestRock (NYSE:WRKGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 5th. The basic materials company reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.16. WestRock had a net margin of 3.93% and a return on equity of 9.32%. The business had revenue of $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.08 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.54 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 21.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that WestRock will post 5.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, May 24th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 12th were given a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 11th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.57%. WestRock’s payout ratio is currently 33.78%.

WestRock declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, May 5th that permits the company to repurchase 25,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the basic materials company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other WestRock news, insider Thomas Stigers sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.10, for a total value of $751,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 88,034 shares in the company, valued at $4,410,503.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WRK. Greenhaven Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of WestRock in the first quarter worth $337,501,000. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of WestRock in the fourth quarter worth $262,710,000. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in WestRock by 125.3% during the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 6,557,728 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $290,901,000 after purchasing an additional 3,647,538 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in WestRock by 7.3% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,390,460 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,053,023,000 after purchasing an additional 1,516,498 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ninety One UK Ltd purchased a new stake in WestRock during the first quarter valued at $62,641,000. 84.42% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About WestRock (Get Rating)

WestRock Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides fiber-based paper and packaging solutions in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It operates through two segments, Corrugated Packaging and Consumer Packaging. The Corrugated Packaging segment produces containerboards, corrugated sheets, corrugated packaging, and preprinted linerboards to consumer and industrial products manufacturers, and corrugated box manufacturers.

Further Reading

Analyst Recommendations for WestRock (NYSE:WRK)

Receive News & Ratings for WestRock Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for WestRock and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.