Brokerages forecast that Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) will post $2.07 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have made estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $2.00 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $2.12 billion. Westlake Chemical posted sales of $1.74 billion in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 19%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Tuesday, February 20th.

On average, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full-year sales of $2.07 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $8.03 billion to $8.15 billion. For the next year, analysts forecast that the business will report sales of $8.64 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $8.45 billion to $9.04 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that cover Westlake Chemical.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.65 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.39 by $0.26. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 15.59% and a net margin of 7.74%.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the company. Johnson Rice assumed coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research note on Monday, November 6th. They issued an “accumulate” rating and a $100.00 price target for the company. Cowen upped their price target on Westlake Chemical from $78.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. ValuEngine cut Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. Alembic Global Advisors reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Friday, November 24th. Finally, Vertical Research cut Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $104.00.

In other Westlake Chemical news, CEO Albert Chao sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.34, for a total transaction of $2,358,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 299,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $28,209,358.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total value of $1,263,701.64. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,195 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $962,815.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 293,122 shares of company stock valued at $27,721,443 over the last quarter. 71.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 6,376.2% during the 3rd quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 1,360 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $113,000 after acquiring an additional 1,339 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $137,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $204,000. HL Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $210,000. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical during the 4th quarter worth approximately $244,000. 30.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE WLK) opened at $110.13 on Monday. 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 company has a market capitalization of $14,218.55, a PE ratio of 23.94, a PEG ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.72. Westlake Chemical has a 52 week low of $59.58 and a 52 week high of $114.34.

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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.

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