Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) announced a quarterly dividend on Friday, November 13th, Fidelity reports. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 24th will be given a dividend of 0.27 per share by the specialty chemicals company on Wednesday, December 9th. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 23rd.
Westlake Chemical has increased its dividend payment by 37.7% over the last three years and has raised its dividend every year for the last 15 years. Westlake Chemical has a dividend payout ratio of 56.3% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Analysts expect Westlake Chemical to earn $2.48 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.08 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 43.5%.
WLK opened at $73.54 on Friday. Westlake Chemical has a fifty-two week low of $28.99 and a fifty-two week high of $81.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 2.85 and a quick ratio of 2.09. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.35, a PEG ratio of 38.49 and a beta of 1.62. The company's 50 day moving average price is $70.26 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $58.83.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its earnings results on Sunday, November 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks' consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.18. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 5.14% and a return on equity of 4.74%. The firm had revenue of $1.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.90 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.22 EPS. The company's revenue for the quarter was down 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Westlake Chemical will post 1.74 EPS for the current year.
In other Westlake Chemical news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 24,996 shares of the company's stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.99, for a total transaction of $1,849,454.04. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 27,882 shares in the company, valued at $2,062,989.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Albert Chao sold 55,148 shares of the company's stock in a transaction on Friday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.99, for a total transaction of $4,025,252.52. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 482,804 shares in the company, valued at approximately $35,239,863.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 73.10% of the company's stock.
A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on WLK shares. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $42.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an "equal weight" rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 30th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a "market perform" rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 4th. Scotiabank lowered shares of Westlake Chemical from a "sector perform" rating to a "sector underperform" rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 4th. Bank of America upped their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $45.00 to $50.00 and gave the company an "underweight" rating in a research note on Thursday, September 10th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $70.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an "overweight" rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 6th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company's stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of "Hold" and an average target price of $61.25.
About Westlake Chemical
Westlake Chemical Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, 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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