Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) announced a dividend on Friday, May 19th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, May 30th will be paid a dividend of 0.1906 per share by the specialty chemicals company on Tuesday, June 13th. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 25th.
Westlake Chemical has increased its dividend payment by an average of 21.7% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 13 years. Westlake Chemical has a dividend payout ratio of 17.4% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Analysts expect Westlake Chemical to earn $4.70 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.76 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 16.2%.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.46. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.62 billion. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 9.50% and a return on equity of 13.56%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 99.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.94 earnings per share.
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In related news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.32, for a total transaction of $771,840.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 58,243 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,746,189.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP George J. Mangieri sold 6,578 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.21, for a total transaction of $409,217.38. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 6,577 shares in the company, valued at $409,155.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 71.70% of the company’s stock.
An institutional investor recently raised its position in Westlake Chemical stock. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 15.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 26,028 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after buying an additional 3,413 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $1,718,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 28.74% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on WLK shares. Citigroup Inc started coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, February 9th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $72.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, February 25th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Finally, Bank of America Corp reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $68.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $60.91.
Westlake Chemical Company Profile
Westlake Chemical Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. The Company’s products include a range of chemicals, which are fundamental to various consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, water treatment, refrigerants, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.
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