WestRock (NYSE:WRK) Upgraded by StockNews.com to Strong-Buy

StockNews.com upgraded shares of WestRock (NYSE:WRKGet Rating) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning.

WRK has been the subject of several other research reports. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their target price on shares of WestRock from $66.00 to $59.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. Citigroup cut shares of WestRock from a buy rating to a neutral rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $53.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. KeyCorp reduced their price objective on shares of WestRock from $44.00 to $36.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 1st. Jefferies Financial Group reduced their price objective on shares of WestRock from $45.00 to $42.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 16th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reduced their price objective on shares of WestRock from $59.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, WestRock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $47.29.

WestRock Price Performance

WRK opened at $32.83 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $8.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.38, a PEG ratio of 0.49 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $40.35 and a 200-day moving average price of $44.10. WestRock has a twelve month low of $32.67 and a twelve month high of $54.78.

WestRock (NYSE:WRKGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The basic materials company reported $1.54 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.50 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $5.52 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.51 billion. WestRock had a net margin of 4.41% and a return on equity of 10.42%. The company’s revenue was up 14.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.00 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that WestRock will post 4.8 EPS for the current year.

WestRock Announces Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 24th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 12th were paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.05%. WestRock’s dividend payout ratio is presently 28.57%.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other WestRock news, insider John L. O’neal sold 5,173 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.55, for a total value of $220,111.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 46,305 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,970,277.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. In other news, Director James E. Nevels sold 2,483 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.36, for a total value of $105,179.88. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,326 shares in the company, valued at approximately $606,849.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John L. O’neal sold 5,173 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.55, for a total transaction of $220,111.15. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 46,305 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,970,277.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On WestRock

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. purchased a new stake in shares of WestRock in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Allworth Financial LP grew its position in WestRock by 634.2% during the 1st quarter. Allworth Financial LP now owns 558 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 482 shares during the last quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in WestRock during the 1st quarter valued at about $29,000. Core Alternative Capital purchased a new stake in WestRock during the 1st quarter valued at about $30,000. Finally, CVA Family Office LLC grew its position in WestRock by 56.1% during the 1st quarter. CVA Family Office LLC now owns 765 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 275 shares during the last quarter. 83.52% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About WestRock

(Get Rating)

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 containerboards, corrugated sheets, corrugated packaging, and preprinted linerboards to consumer and industrial products manufacturers, and corrugated box manufacturers.

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Analyst Recommendations for WestRock (NYSE:WRK)

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