Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) is trending higher in the market today as the company shares are trading 2.94% or 1.89 points up from last closing price of $64.26, reaching $66.15 at last check. Any clue why there is so much of action in the WLK stock? The share price has risen in 4 of the last 5 days and is up 0.39% over the past week. It will be exciting to see whether the stock manages to continue increasing or take a minor break for the next few days. The move came on weak volume too with far less shares changing hands than in a normal session. Trading activity as of this writing weakened by -352,595 shares, and in total 377905 shares valued at $24.998 million were seen changing hands compared with 730500 shares valued at $46.942 million recorded at the previous session. You should take into consideration that a falling volume on higher prices causes divergence and may be an early warning about possible changes in WLK stock for the next couple of days.
Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK) shares have notched a 3-month gain of about 0.39%, but has still tumbled -2.89% year to date. By comparison, the stock sank -25.87% over the past 12 months, while it jumped 2.36% over the 1 month. The company’s market cap is around $8.19B, with its short interest ratio standing at 5.98%.
In the current trading session for WLK, the stock witnessed two major price actions, it rose to a high of $66.74 and was down as much as $64.37 at one point. The high recorded is very low when compared to their 52-week high which is $55.82. The 52-week high is now at -24.44 distance from current price. Their recent low of $88.02 represents a 19.15% recovery. This data is quite important for investors who look to benefit from the recent rise of the company’s stock. The price target currently for WLK is $72.14, this is below the recent high that the stock attained. Taking a look at the overall sentimental views of financial analysts, the trading pattern of this stock recently is very clear.
The stock of Westlake Chemical Corporation earned $4.77 per share in the trailing 12 months and has a P/E ratio of 13.87. You can compare it with that of similar companies in its industry to get a sense of whether the stock you’re looking to purchase is overvalued or undervalued. Its current price to earnings ratio is lower than the ones recorded by the industry which is 30.68 and lower compared to the sector’s average of 23.48. When the P/E ratio is low let’s say below 1.0, then the stock price is considered a good value. WLK also has P/S multiple of 1. This is greater versus the 12 month P/S ratios of other companies in the same indutry. The peer average price to sales ratio is 0.38x.
WLK‘s last price was down -1.83% as compared to the average trading price of 50 days recorded at $67.38 while enlarging the period to 200 trading days, the average closing price was $63.61. At present, there are 127.44 million in the total number of common shares owned by the public and among those 34.9 million shares have been available to trade. The percentage of shares being held by the company management was 0.1% while institutions stake was 31.7%. The company has generated positive returns on equity over the last 12 months (11%). It managed to keep its gross profit margin at 18.2% over the past 12 months.
When assessing the full upside of the WLK stock, there is another set of technicals that should be looked into and considered. Its 10.19% gain from moving average of $60.03 has brought about a positive sentiment when calculated over the last 20 days. The market has allocated a beta of 1.6 to the stock. With the beta been greater than one, this implies that the company shares are theoretically more volatile than the market, something that the traders definitely are keeping an eye on.
Most of the analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call think quite highly of Westlake Chemical Corporation — 6 analysts rate the stock as a buy with another 0 rating it strong buy. There are 8 analysts who maintain a hold rating for the stock, with 3 giving it a sell rating. Analysts arrived at a 12-month price target of $77.0513 on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK), which corresponds to 16.09% upside potential than its current market price of $66.15 and implies potential despite the recent advance in the price. However, their current target price has fallen from $78.6953 a month ago and is down handily from the consensus target of $90.1763 a quarter ago.
In the last five years, the EPS of the company has been roughly 10.9%. Though the percentage looks encouraging, extra tailwinds are emerging as looking out over a next 5-year period, with analysts estimating that their earnings will increase annually by 8.61%. The revenue of the company has risen at an average annualized rate of about 18.1 over the last five years. The company recently recorded a drop of -4.1%, but this figure is rather unattractive.
Let’s briefly check the hedge fund interest towards WLK stock. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp trimmed position in the company after it dumped -70.4% or 44,949 shares of its common stock. The hedge fund now owns 13,305 shares worth $880,126, SEC documents show. Toronto Dominion Bank cut assets in the stock as 6976.83 shares have been sold, reducing its stake by -13.7% to 6,021 shares which are currently valued at $398,289. In addition, Treasurer of the State of North Carolina recently reported that it now owns 17,372 shares making a total of $1,149,158 based on the recent price. This refelects a change of 17.7% in their ownership.