The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Westlake Chemical met expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue contracted significantly. GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.
Margins grew across the board.
Westlake Chemical notched revenue of $864.6 million. The nine analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see a top line of $870.1 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 16% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.03 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $1.84. The nine earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.25 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.84 for Q1 were 40% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.31 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 26.3%, 960 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 22.4%, 830 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 14.3%, 580 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $941.7 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.82.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.70 billion. The average EPS estimate is $6.36.
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 100 members out of 111 rating the stock outperform, and 11 members rating it underperform. Among 26 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 25 give Westlake Chemical a green thumbs-up, and one give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Westlake Chemical is hold, with an average price target of $84.38.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.