Morgan Stanley Initiates Coverage on Westlake Chemical (WLK)

Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) in a research report report published on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat reports. The firm issued an equal weight rating and a $120.00 price objective on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on WLK. Wells Fargo & Co assumed coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday. They set a hold rating and a $120.00 target price on the stock. SunTrust Banks reiterated a buy rating and issued a $93.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Nomura upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $98.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Vertical Research lowered shares of Westlake Chemical from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $103.07.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) traded up $0.69 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $113.94. 328,391 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 598,052. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 2.31 and a quick ratio of 1.59. The firm has a market cap of $14,621.41, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.72. Westlake Chemical has a 1-year low of $58.97 and a 1-year high of $114.34.

In other news, CEO Albert Chao sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.34, for a total value of $2,358,500.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 299,018 shares in the company, valued at approximately $28,209,358.12. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total transaction of $263,389.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 6,635 shares in the company, valued at approximately $653,547.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443 in the last quarter. 71.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 6,376.2% in the 3rd quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 1,360 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,339 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 3rd quarter valued at about $137,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 3rd quarter valued at about $204,000. HL Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 3rd quarter valued at about $210,000. Finally, Boothbay Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 3rd quarter valued at about $254,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.41% of the company’s stock.

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About Westlake Chemical

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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