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What Makes Westlake (WLK) Stock a Solid Choice Right Now

Shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation WLK have popped around 23% over the past three months. The company is benefiting from the global economic rebound, higher sales prices for most of its key products, and demand strength in building and construction materials business.

We are positive on the company’s prospects and believe that the time is right for you to add the stock to the portfolio as it looks promising and is poised to carry the momentum ahead.

Westlake Chemical currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a VGM Score of A. Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of A or B, combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 (Buy), offer the best investment opportunities for investors.

Let’s delve deeper into the factors that make this chemical maker an attractive choice for investors right now.

Estimates Northbound

Over the past two months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Westlake Chemical for 2021 has increased around 17.8%. The consensus estimate for fourth-quarter 2021 has also been revised 48% upward over the same time frame. The favorable estimate revisions instill investor confidence in the stock.

Solid Growth Prospects

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for 2021 for Westlake Chemical is currently pegged at $14.73, reflecting an expected year-over-year growth of 543.2%. Moreover, earnings are expected to register 413.8% growth in fourth-quarter 2021.

Impressive Earnings Surprise History

Westlake Chemical has outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. In this time frame, it has delivered an earnings surprise of 17.8%, on average.

Growth Drivers in Place

Westlake Chemical should benefit from higher demand in its polyethylene business in specialty applications, especially consumer product packaging, and strength in global demand for polyvinyl chloride (“PVC”) resin. It is seeing strong demand in the downstream building products business on the back of continued housing growth and spending on repair and remodeling activities. The company benefited from strong demand for most of its products in the third quarter on continued global economic expansion. It saw demand strength in the building and construction materials business in the quarter.

Strong demand in North American residential construction and the repair and remodeling markets is also driving prices of PVC resin. Westlake Chemical’s Olefins unit is also benefiting from higher prices of all products on the back of strong global demand.

The company will also gain from its capacity expansion projects and actions to improve operating efficiency and reduce costs. It is also making disciplined investments, developing new products and leveraging its current products and footprint globally.

Westlake Chemical should also benefit from synergies of acquisitions. The company, in its third-quarter call, said that it expects that the recently completed acquisitions of LASCO Fittings, Boral North America and Dimex, totaling around $2.6 billion, will initiate a stage of development and growth for its building products business. It is optimistic that the investments will strengthen its footprint in the sustainable building product markets and provide long-term growth opportunities.



Stocks to Consider

Other top-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Nutrien Ltd. NTR, Dow Inc. DOW and Univar Solutions Inc. UNVR, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Nutrien has an expected earnings growth rate of 212.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for NTR's current-year earnings has been revised 13.5% upward over the last 60 days.

Nutrien beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 73.5%, on average. NTR has rallied around 57% in a year.

Dow has a projected earnings growth rate of 447% for the current year. The consensus estimate for DOW’s current year has been revised 7.2% upward over the last 60 days.

Dow beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 14.1%. DOW shares have gained around 10% in a year.

Univar has a projected earnings growth rate of 55.2% for the current year. UNVR's consensus estimate for the current year has been revised 9% upward over the last 60 days.

Univar beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 24.1%. UNVR has gained around 59% in a year.

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Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK): Free Stock Analysis Report
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