Investors Purchase High Volume of WestRock Call Options (NYSE:WRK)

WestRock (NYSE:WRK) was the target of some unusual options trading on Monday. Investors bought 17,570 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,090% compared to the typical volume of 1,476 call options.

Several research firms have commented on WRK. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of WestRock from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, February 2nd. KeyCorp raised their price objective on WestRock from $35.00 to $40.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 5th. Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on WestRock from $67.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, May 7th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their price target on shares of WestRock from $58.00 to $59.00 in a research report on Monday, April 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of WestRock from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $53.42.

In related news, insider Jeffrey Wayne Chalovich sold 19,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.23, for a total transaction of $1,004,108.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 123,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,336,843.62. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.92% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd bought a new stake in WestRock in the 1st quarter valued at $195,000. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in WestRock by 23.8% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,350,150 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $70,275,000 after acquiring an additional 259,492 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in WestRock by 51.4% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 1,376,135 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $71,627,000 after acquiring an additional 467,065 shares during the period. Veritable L.P. acquired a new position in WestRock in the first quarter worth about $213,000. Finally, Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD lifted its stake in WestRock by 52.1% during the first quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 28,547,774 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,485,912,000 after purchasing an additional 9,777,300 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.83% of the company’s stock.

NYSE WRK opened at $61.81 on Tuesday. The company’s fifty day moving average is $55.25 and its two-hundred day moving average is $47.33. WestRock has a 52-week low of $24.95 and a 52-week high of $62.03. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.80 and a quick ratio of 1.03. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.67 and a beta of 1.38.

WestRock (NYSE:WRK) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 5th. The basic materials company reported $0.54 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by ($0.08). The firm had revenue of $4.44 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.51 billion. WestRock had a return on equity of 7.24% and a net margin of 4.37%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.67 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that WestRock will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 28th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.55%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 18th. This is a positive change from WestRock’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. WestRock’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.10%.

WestRock Company Profile

WestRock Company manufactures and sells paper and packaging solutions in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company operates through Corrugated Packaging and Consumer Packaging segments. The Corrugated Packaging segment produces containerboards, corrugated sheets, corrugated packaging, and preprinted linerboards for sale to consumer and industrial products manufacturers, and corrugated box manufacturers.

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