Westlake Chemical Company WLK has issued downbeat earnings guidance for the second quarter and full-year 2019.
The chemical maker expects earnings between 73 cents and 87 cents per share for the second quarter. For 2019, the company sees earnings in the band of $3.10-$4.28 per share, factoring in current margin and pricing expectations for its products in the second quarter and the full year.
The company’s guidance fell short of expectations. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently $1.39 per share for earnings in the second quarter. For 2019, the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $4.96.
For the second quarter, Westlake Chemical envisions net income in the range of $106-$123 million. The company expects EBITDA to improve roughly 8-15% on a sequential comparison basis to between $340 million and $363 million in the second quarter. Net sales for the quarter have been projected in the band of $2.1-$2.2 billion.
For 2019, the company sees net income in the range of $443-$596 million and net sales of between $8 billion and $8.8 billion. EBITDA for the year has been forecast in the range of $1.4-$1.6 billion.
Westlake Chemical noted that while its average margin rose on a sequential comparison basis in the second quarter, it did not increase as much as industry pricing expectations at the start of second quarter.
Westlake Chemical also said that the guidance it has provided is preliminary and subject to change. The company expects to come up with its final second-quarter results on Aug 6.
Shares of Westlake Chemical have lost 34.8% in a year’s time compared with the industry’s 35.6% decline.
Westlake Chemical experienced a difficult pricing environment in the first quarter of 2019, stemming from sharp decline in global crude oil prices in late 2018 along with softer Chinese demand.
The company, during its first-quarter call, said that is cautiously optimistic that trade tensions between the United States and China as well as crude oil prices will improve in second-half 2019.
Westlake Chemical Corporation Price and Consensus
Westlake Chemical Corporation price-consensus-chart | Westlake Chemical Corporation Quote
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Westlake Chemical currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
A few better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Materion Corporation MTRN, Flexible Solutions International Inc FSI and Israel Chemicals Ltd. ICL.
Materion has an expected earnings growth rate of 30.3% for the current year and carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company’s shares have gained around 22% over the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Flexible Solutions has an expected earnings growth rate of 342.9% for the current fiscal year and carries a Zacks Rank #1. Its shares have surged around 159% in the past year.
Israel Chemicals has an expected earnings growth rate of 13.5% for the current year and carries a Zacks Rank #1. Its shares are up roughly 17% in the past year.
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