WestRock (NYSE:WRK – Get Rating) declared a quarterly dividend on Friday, July 29, reports RTT News. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 12 will receive a dividend of 0.25 per share from the basic materials company on Wednesday, August 24. This represents a dividend of $1.00 on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.36%.
WestRock has a dividend payout ratio of 18.6%, which means its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Analysts expect WestRock to earn $5.62 per share next year, meaning the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.00 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio. by 17.8%.
WestRock Price Performance
WestRock stock traded down $0.17 at midday on Friday, hitting $42.32. The company had a trading volume of 21,012 shares, compared to an average volume of 2,348,711 shares. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $42.86 and its 200-day simple moving average is $45.58. The company has a market capitalization of $10.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.36, a P/E/G ratio of 0.37 and a beta of 1.05. WestRock has a 1-year low of $38.28 and a 1-year high of $54.78. The company has a debt ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 1.53 and a quick ratio of 0.96.
WestRock Inc (NYSE:WRK – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, May 5. The basic materials company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.17 for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.16. WestRock had a return on equity of 9.32% and a net margin of 3.93%. The company posted revenue of $5.38 billion for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $5.08 billion. During the same period last year, the company achieved EPS of $0.54. The company’s quarterly revenue increased 21.3% year over year. On average, stock analysts predict that WestRock will post EPS of 5.09 for the current year.
Wall Street analysts predict growth
A number of brokerages have published reports on WRK. StockNews.com downgraded WestRock from a “strong buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a Saturday, June 18 research rating. Citigroup downgraded WestRock shares from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered its target price for the stock from $53.00 to $45.00 in a Tuesday, June 21 research report. Wells Fargo & Company cut its price target on WestRock shares from $66.00 to $59.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report Thursday, May 26. TheStreet downgraded shares of WestRock from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a Thursday, June 16 report. Finally, KeyCorp lowered its price target on WestRock from $44.00 to $36.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a Friday, July 1 report. An equity research analyst rated the stock with a sell rating, five gave the stock a hold rating and three gave the stock a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.00.
WestRock announced that its board of directors launched a share buyback program on Thursday, May 5 which allows the company to repurchase 25,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the commodity company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs often indicate that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
Hedge funds weigh on WestRock
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently changed their positions in the company. Graham Capital Management LP acquired a new position in WestRock in the first quarter worth $583,000. Achmea Investment Management BV acquired a new position in WestRock in the first quarter worth $549,000. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new position in WestRock in the first quarter worth $537,000. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its equity stake in WestRock by 6.0% in Q1. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 9,791 shares of the basic materials company worth $461,000 after buying an additional 550 shares in the last quarter. Finally, PDT Partners LLC acquired a new position in WestRock during Q1 worth approximately $455,000. 84.42% of the shares are currently held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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WestRock Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides fiber-based paper and packaging solutions in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It operates through two segments, Corrugated Packaging and Consumer Packaging. The Corrugated Packaging segment produces pre-printed containerboard, corrugated sheets, corrugated packaging and linerboard for consumer and industrial product manufacturers and corrugated box manufacturers.
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