Man Group plc decreased its stake in Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 25.1% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 45,619 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 15,293 shares during the quarter. Man Group plc’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $3,791,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of WLK. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the second quarter valued at approximately $130,000. Korea Investment CORP purchased a new position in Westlake Chemical in the second quarter worth approximately $194,000. Standard Life Aberdeen plc purchased a new position in Westlake Chemical in the second quarter worth approximately $226,000. Twin Tree Management LP purchased a new position in Westlake Chemical in the third quarter worth approximately $181,000. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its position in Westlake Chemical by 47.5% in the second quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 2,721 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $293,000 after acquiring an additional 876 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.54% of the company’s stock.
WLK traded up $2.32 during trading on Friday, reaching $77.83. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 960,038 shares, compared to its average volume of 731,133. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 52-week low of $59.78 and a 52-week high of $124.29. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.05 billion, a PE ratio of 14.23, a P/E/G ratio of 0.70 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a current ratio of 2.31, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.24 by $0.11. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 19.36% and a return on equity of 19.75%. The company had revenue of $2.26 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.61 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 8.57 EPS for the current year.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, December 1st. ValuEngine upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Alembic Global Advisors reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Monday, November 26th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “positive” rating and set a $81.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Thursday, November 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $94.00 price target on Westlake Chemical and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Westlake Chemical has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $106.19.
In related news, CEO Albert Chao sold 24,509 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.20, for a total transaction of $1,745,040.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 337,013 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,995,325.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 72.00% of the company’s stock.
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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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