National Bank of Canada FI Increases Holdings in WestRock (NYSE:WRK)

National Bank of Canada FI raised its stake in shares of WestRock (NYSE:WRKGet Rating) by 4.1% in the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 37,616 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 1,489 shares during the quarter. National Bank of Canada FI’s holdings in WestRock were worth $1,767,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in WRK. Greenhaven Associates Inc. purchased a new position in WestRock during the first quarter valued at $337,501,000. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of WestRock in the 4th quarter worth $262,710,000. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its holdings in shares of WestRock by 16.4% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 7,632,981 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $362,796,000 after purchasing an additional 1,075,253 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC bought a new stake in shares of WestRock in the 4th quarter worth $35,216,000. Finally, Impax Asset Management Group plc increased its holdings in shares of WestRock by 14.2% in the 4th quarter. Impax Asset Management Group plc now owns 5,892,722 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $261,401,000 after purchasing an additional 732,028 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.42% of the company’s stock.

WestRock Price Performance

NYSE WRK opened at $40.19 on Friday. WestRock has a 12 month low of $38.28 and a 12 month high of $54.78. The stock has a market cap of $10.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.58, a PEG ratio of 0.38 and a beta of 1.04. The company’s 50 day moving average is $42.29 and its two-hundred day moving average is $45.38. The company has a current ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69.

WestRock (NYSE:WRKGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The basic materials company reported $1.54 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.49 by $0.05. WestRock had a net margin of 3.93% and a return on equity of 9.32%. The company had revenue of $5.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.51 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.00 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts anticipate that WestRock will post 5.09 earnings per share for the current year.

WestRock announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, May 5th that permits the company to buyback 25,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the basic materials company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

WestRock Announces Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 24th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 12th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.49%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 11th. WestRock’s payout ratio is 33.78%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of analysts have commented on the company. StockNews.com lowered WestRock from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 18th. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their target price on WestRock from $66.00 to $59.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, May 26th. Citigroup lowered WestRock from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $53.00 to $45.00 in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. TheStreet cut WestRock from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 16th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft dropped their target price on WestRock from $59.00 to $45.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.00.

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.

Further Reading

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for WestRock (NYSE:WRK)

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