Viking Fund Management LLC lessened its holdings in Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 25.0% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 30,000 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 10,000 shares during the period. Viking Fund Management LLC’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $2,036,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in WLK. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 4th quarter valued at about $32,294,000. Millennium Management LLC increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 102.6% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 834,024 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $55,187,000 after buying an additional 422,380 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 223.3% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 544,346 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $45,240,000 after buying an additional 375,952 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 20.0% during the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,853,189 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $154,018,000 after buying an additional 308,887 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 129.9% during the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 429,443 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $28,416,000 after buying an additional 242,654 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 28.00% of the company’s stock.
In other news, Director H John Riley, Jr. sold 3,327 shares of the company’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 sale, the director now owns 22,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,583,827.84. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 72.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 19th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.02 earnings per share 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 company had revenue of $1.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.10 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.62 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 7.13 EPS for the current fiscal year.
WLK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Bank of America upgraded Westlake Chemical from an “underperform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. ValuEngine upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 9th. Zacks Investment Research cut Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, January 12th. Nomura cut Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “reduce” rating and set a $72.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. Finally, Cowen reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $82.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $102.06.
Westlake Chemical Company Profile
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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