Martingale Asset Management L P lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 33.5% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 7,802 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,958 shares during the period. Martingale Asset Management L P’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $517,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of WLK. FMR LLC grew its position in Westlake Chemical by 15.0% during the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,481,032 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $704,859,000 after purchasing an additional 1,108,088 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 223.3% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 544,346 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $45,240,000 after purchasing an additional 375,952 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 20.0% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,853,189 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $154,018,000 after purchasing an additional 308,887 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 42.2% in the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 576,300 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $47,896,000 after purchasing an additional 171,000 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 7.6% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,081,307 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $172,977,000 after purchasing an additional 147,877 shares during the period. 27.52% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several brokerages recently commented on WLK. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 1st. Susquehanna Bancshares reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $75.00 price objective (down previously from $88.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, February 26th. ValuEngine cut shares of Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “positive” rating and issued a $81.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, November 15th. Finally, Alembic Global Advisors reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Monday, November 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $103.33.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 19th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.02 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.72 by ($0.70). Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 17.83% and a net margin of 11.53%. The firm had revenue of $1.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.10 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.62 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 7.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 27th were issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, February 26th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.46%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 12.80%.
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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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