First Mercantile Trust Co. Takes $139,000 Position in Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK)

First Mercantile Trust Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund acquired 2,042 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock, valued at approximately $139,000.

Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the stock. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 51,617 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,415,000 after buying an additional 140 shares during the last quarter. Callahan Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 6.7% during the 4th quarter. Callahan Advisors LLC now owns 4,290 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $284,000 after buying an additional 270 shares during the last quarter. Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 1st quarter valued at about $25,000. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 12.6% during the 4th quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 4,206 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $278,000 after buying an additional 472 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 4th quarter valued at about $37,000. 28.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

WLK has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Alembic Global Advisors set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Cowen reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $68.00 price objective (down previously from $78.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Nomura downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “reduce” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Cascend Securities initiated coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, April 5th. They set a “buy” rating and a $94.00 price objective for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $92.81.

In other news, Director H John Riley, Jr. sold 3,327 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.92, for a total value 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 72.60% of the company’s stock.

NYSE WLK opened at $64.74 on Wednesday. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 52 week low of $57.39 and a 52 week high of $124.29. The company has a quick ratio of 1.31, a current ratio of 2.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.29, a PEG ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.44.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, missing the 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 last year, the company posted $2.20 EPS. Westlake Chemical’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 5.69 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 12th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 29th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.54%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 28th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.80%.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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