WestRock (NYSE:WRK) Reaches New 12-Month High on Analyst Upgrade

WestRock (NYSE:WRK) hit a new 52-week high on Monday after Morgan Stanley raised their price target on the stock from $50.00 to $55.00. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the stock. WestRock traded as high as $61.21 and last traded at $61.18, with a volume of 13695 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $60.57.

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut WestRock from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, February 2nd. KeyCorp lifted their price target on WestRock from $35.00 to $40.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 5th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their target price on WestRock from $58.00 to $59.00 in a research report on Monday, April 19th. Credit Suisse Group boosted 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. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company boosted their target price on WestRock from $59.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 6th. One 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 stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $53.42.

In other WestRock news, insider Jeffrey Wayne Chalovich sold 19,600 shares of WestRock stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.23, for a total transaction of $1,004,108.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 123,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,336,843.62. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 1.92% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD lifted its stake in shares of WestRock by 52.1% in the 1st quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 28,547,774 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,485,912,000 after acquiring an additional 9,777,300 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of WestRock in the 4th quarter valued at about $204,694,000. Boston Partners bought a new stake in shares of WestRock in the 4th quarter valued at about $147,964,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of WestRock by 6.2% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,858,307 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $995,022,000 after acquiring an additional 1,340,655 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its stake in shares of WestRock by 110.5% in the 4th quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,361,781 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $102,808,000 after acquiring an additional 1,239,906 shares during the last quarter. 80.83% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The company has a market cap of $16.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.67 and a beta of 1.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.80. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $55.25 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $47.33.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 28th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 18th. This is an increase from WestRock’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. WestRock’s payout ratio is currently 20.10%.

WestRock Company Profile (NYSE:WRK)

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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