Westlake Chemical Corporation is a specialty chemicals business based in the US. Westlake Chemical shares (WLK.US) are listed on the NYSE and all prices are listed in US Dollars. Its last market close was $83.1 – an increase of 5.78% over the previous week. Westlake Chemical employs 9,430 staff and has a trailing 12-month revenue of around $7.4 billion.
Since the stock market crash in March caused by coronavirus, Westlake Chemical's share price has had significant positive movement.
Its last market close was $83.1, which is 25.15% up on its pre-crash value of $62.2 and 186.65% up on the lowest point reached during the March crash when the shares fell as low as $28.99.
If you had bought $1,000 worth of Westlake Chemical shares at the start of February 2020, those shares would have been worth $526.56 at the bottom of the March crash, and if you held on to them, then as of the last market close they'd be worth $1,367.00.
|Latest market close||$83.1|
|52-week range||$28.5738 - $80.7823|
|50-day moving average||$72.2788|
|200-day moving average||$60.7231|
|Wall St. target price||$71.83|
|Dividend yield||$1.08 (1.4%)|
|Earnings per share (TTM)||$2.25|
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Valuing Westlake Chemical stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of Westlake Chemical's overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge the value of a stock.
Westlake Chemical's current share price divided by its per-share earnings (EPS) over a 12-month period gives a "trailing price/earnings ratio" of roughly 33x. In other words, Westlake Chemical shares trade at around 33x recent earnings.
That's relatively high compared to, say, the trailing 12-month P/E ratio for the NASDAQ 100 at the end of 2019 (27.29). The high P/E ratio could mean that investors are optimistic about the outlook for the shares or simply that they're over-valued.
Westlake Chemical's "price/earnings-to-growth ratio" can be calculated by dividing its P/E ratio by its growth – to give 1.59. A low ratio can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer better value, while a higher ratio can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer worse value.
The PEG ratio provides a broader view than just the P/E ratio, as it gives more insight into Westlake Chemical's future profitability. By accounting for growth, it could also help you if you're comparing the share prices of multiple high-growth companies.
Westlake Chemical's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is a whopping $1.1 billion (£0.0 million).
The EBITDA is a measure of a Westlake Chemical's overall financial performance and is widely used to measure a its profitability.
|Revenue TTM||$7.4 billion|
|Operating margin TTM||5.31%|
|Gross profit TTM||$1.3 billion|
|Return on assets TTM||1.84%|
|Return on equity TTM||5.21%|
|Market capitalisation||$9.6 billion|
TTM: trailing 12 months
There are currently 1.5 million Westlake Chemical shares held short by investors – that's known as Westlake Chemical's "short interest". This figure is 26.6% down from 2.0 million last month.
There are a few different ways that this level of interest in shorting Westlake Chemical shares can be evaluated.
Westlake Chemical's "short interest ratio" (SIR) is the quantity of Westlake Chemical shares currently shorted divided by the average quantity of Westlake Chemical shares traded daily (recently around 364469.90291262). Westlake Chemical's SIR currently stands at 4.12. In other words for every 100,000 Westlake Chemical shares traded daily on the market, roughly 4120 shares are currently held short.
However Westlake Chemical's short interest can also be evaluated against the total number of Westlake Chemical shares, or, against the total number of tradable Westlake Chemical shares (the shares that aren't held by "insiders" or major long-term shareholders – also known as the "float"). In this case Westlake Chemical's short interest could be expressed as 0.01% of the outstanding shares (for every 100,000 Westlake Chemical shares in existence, roughly 10 shares are currently held short) or 0.0444% of the tradable shares (for every 100,000 tradable Westlake Chemical shares, roughly 44 shares are currently held short).
Such a low SIR usually points to an optimistic outlook for the share price, with fewer people currently willing to bet against Westlake Chemical.
Find out more about how you can short Westlake Chemical stock.
Environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) criteria are a set of three factors used to measure the sustainability and social impact of companies like Westlake Chemical.
When it comes to ESG scores, lower is better, and lower scores are generally associated with lower risk for would-be investors.
Total ESG risk: 43.31
Socially conscious investors use ESG scores to screen how an investment aligns with their worldview, and Westlake Chemical's overall score of 43.31 (as at 01/01/2019) is pretty weak – landing it in it in the 80th percentile of companies rated in the same sector.
ESG scores are increasingly used to estimate the level of risk a company like Westlake Chemical is exposed to within the areas of "environmental" (carbon footprint, resource use etc.), "social" (health and safety, human rights etc.), and "governance" (anti-corruption, tax transparency etc.).
Environmental score: 28.32/100
Westlake Chemical's environmental score of 28.32 puts it squarely in the 9th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Westlake Chemical is a leader in its sector terms of its environmental impact, and exposed to a lower level of risk.
Social score: 9.87/100
Westlake Chemical's social score of 9.87 puts it squarely in the 9th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Westlake Chemical is a leader in its sector when it comes to taking good care of its workforce and the communities it impacts.
Governance score: 18.12/100
Westlake Chemical's governance score puts it squarely in the 9th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. That could suggest that Westlake Chemical is a leader in its sector when it comes to responsible management and strategy, and exposed to a lower level of risk.
Controversy score: 2/5
ESG scores also evaluate any incidences of controversy that a company has been involved in. A high-profile company, Westlake Chemical scored a 2 out of 5 for controversy – the second-highest score possible, reflecting that Westlake Chemical has, for the most part, managed to keep its nose clean.
|Total ESG score||43.31|
|Total ESG percentile||79.76|
|Environmental score percentile||9|
|Social score percentile||9|
|Governance score percentile||9|
|Level of controversy||2|
Dividend payout ratio: 60.17% of net profits
Recently Westlake Chemical has paid out, on average, around 60.17% of net profits as dividends. That has enabled analysts to estimate a "forward annual dividend yield" of 1.4% of the current stock value. This means that over a year, based on recent payouts (which are sadly no guarantee of future payouts), Westlake Chemical shareholders could enjoy a 1.4% return on their shares, in the form of dividend payments. In Westlake Chemical's case, that would currently equate to about $1.08 per share.
Westlake Chemical's payout ratio would broadly be considered high, and as such this stock could appeal to those looking to generate an income. Bear in mind however that companies should normally also look to re-invest a decent amount of net profits to ensure future growth.
Westlake Chemical's most recent dividend payout was on 9 December 2020. The latest dividend was paid out to all shareholders who bought their shares by 23 November 2020 (the "ex-dividend date").
Westlake Chemical's shares were split on a 2:1 basis on 19 March 2014. So if you had owned 1 share the day before before the split, the next day you'd have owned 2 shares. This wouldn't directly have changed the overall worth of your Westlake Chemical shares – just the quantity. However, indirectly, the new 50% lower share price could have impacted the market appetite for Westlake Chemical shares which in turn could have impacted Westlake Chemical's share price.
Over the last 12 months, Westlake Chemical's shares have ranged in value from as little as $28.5738 up to $80.7823. A popular way to gauge a stock's volatility is its "beta".
Beta is a measure of a share's volatility in relation to the market. The market (NYSE average) beta is 1, while Westlake Chemical's is 1.5479. This would suggest that Westlake Chemical's shares are more volatile than the average for this exchange and represent, relatively-speaking, a higher risk (but potentially also market-beating returns).
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. The Vinyls segment provides specialty and commodity polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride monomers, ethylene dichloride, chlorine, caustic soda, chlorinated derivative, and ethylene products. This segment also manufactures and sells PVC compounds and building products fabricated from PVC, including residential siding, trim and moulding, pipe and fittings for various water, sewer and industrial applications, profiles for windows and doors, decking products, film for various inflatables, wall covering tapes, roofing applications, and composite roof tiles. Westlake Chemical Corporation offers its products to a range of customers, including chemical processors, plastics fabricators, small construction contractors, municipalities, and supply warehouses in various consumer and industrial markets, such as flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, water treatment, refrigerants, and residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Westlake Chemical Corporation is a subsidiary of TTWF LP.
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