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Westlake Chemical Declares 5% Hike in Quarterly Dividend

Zacks Equity Research

Westlake Chemical Corporation’s WLK board of directors announced an increase in quarterly dividend.

The company declared a regular dividend distribution of 26.25 cents per share in third-quarter 2019, up 5% from 25 cents in the second quarter. The dividend is payable on Sep 11, 2019 to stockholders of record as of Aug 27, 2019.

Notably, this represents the 60th consecutive quarterly dividend declared by the company since its completion of IPO in August 2004.

Shares of Westlake Chemical have lost 36.6% in a year’s time compared with the industry’s 40.9% decline.

The company’s adjusted earnings per share were 92 cents in the second quarter, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 84 cents.

Sales fell nearly 4% year over year to $2,144 million. However, the figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,098.9 million.

Westlake Chemical faced challenges in the second quarter from lower commodity pricing due to sluggish global growth and industrial activity as well as logistics constraints and delay in shipments of its major products due to flood in the continental United States. Moreover, prolonged winter weather in North America led to a slow start of the construction season.

The company is seeing some improvements in industry fundamentals which it expects to continue into second-half 2019.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Westlake Chemical currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Kinross Gold Corporation KGC, Alamos Gold Inc AGI and Arconic Inc ARNC, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kinross has an expected earnings growth rate of 150% for 2019. The company’s shares have surged 66.5% in the past year.

Alamos Gold has projected earnings growth rate of 300% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied 57.7% in a year’s time.

Arconic has an estimated earnings growth rate of 47.1% for the current year. Its shares have moved up 17.2% in the past year.

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