Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK): Today's Featured Chemicals Loser

Westlake Chemical Corporation ( WLK) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Westlake Chemical Corporation fell $2.02 (-3.2%) to $61.93 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 441,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $60.99-$65.14 after having opened the day at $60.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.95. Other company's within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Metabolix ( MBLX), down 9.2%, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), down 8.7%, Cereplast ( CERP), down 5.4%, and Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 4.3%.

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and fabricated building products. It operates in two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. Westlake Chemical Corporation has a market cap of $4.35 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.9, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 58.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Westlake Chemical Corporation a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Westlake Chemical Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Huntsman Corporation ( HUN), up 9%, TOR Minerals International ( TORM), up 5.8%, Penford Corporation ( PENX), up 5.1%, and Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 3.5%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) being today's featured chemicals industry winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the chemicals industry could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the chemicals industry could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).
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