Sapience Investments LLC increased its position in shares of WestRock Co (NYSE:WRK) by 9.5% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 29,860 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,600 shares during the quarter. Sapience Investments LLC’s holdings in WestRock were worth $1,887,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its stake in WestRock by 32.6% in the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,631,286 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $292,744,000 after buying an additional 1,138,884 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new stake in WestRock in the third quarter valued at $51,740,000. Alps Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in WestRock in the fourth quarter valued at $47,018,000. Investec Asset Management LTD lifted its stake in WestRock by 31.8% in the third quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 2,063,933 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $117,087,000 after buying an additional 497,746 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Systematic Financial Management LP lifted its stake in WestRock by 171.2% in the third quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 767,613 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $43,547,000 after buying an additional 484,539 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.20% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on WRK shares. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on WestRock to $68.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Deutsche Bank set a $70.00 target price on WestRock and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Stephens set a $72.00 target price on WestRock and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. DA Davidson reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $82.00 target price on shares of WestRock in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $85.00 target price on shares of WestRock in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $74.25.
WestRock (NYSE:WRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The basic materials company reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.75 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $3.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.95 billion. WestRock had a return on equity of 7.45% and a net margin of 11.51%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.47 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that WestRock Co will post 3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, February 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 16th were issued a dividend of $0.43 per share. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 15th. WestRock’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 25.18%.
In other news, Director John A. Luke, Jr. sold 42,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.12, for a total transaction of $2,793,570.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 539,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $35,684,501.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director John A. Luke, Jr. sold 10,343 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.68, for a total value of $658,642.24. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 497,557 shares in the company, valued at $31,684,429.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 468,099 shares of company stock worth $30,798,574 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.
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WestRock Company, incorporated on March 6, 2015, is a multinational provider of paper and packaging solutions for consumer and corrugated packaging markets. The Company also develops real estate in the Charleston, South Carolina region. The Company’s segments include Corrugated Packaging, Consumer Packaging, and Land and Development.
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