Is Westlake (WLK) stock a good buy?

Is Westlake (WLK) stock a good buy?

➡️ This is a step-by-step stock review to determine if Westlake (WLK) stock is a good buy. In this article, we’ll help you understand the company, where the company is going, the competition, and the leadership. This way you can make a more confident investment decision.

Westlake manufactures and supplies petrochemicals, polymers, and building products worldwide. The company was founded in 1986 and has office locations in the US, Canada, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Italy.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Tykr Rating

➡️ Goal: When you look at a stock, the first step is to look at the financials. Fortunately, Tykr does this for us automatically. The higher the score, the stronger the financials and the safer the investment. The higher the MOS, the higher the potential returns you can make.

  • Summary: On Sale
  • Score: 100/100
  • MOS: 90%
  • Share Price: $94
  • Sticker Price: $476

Step 2: Westlake Business Model

How does Westlake make money?

➡️ Goal: It’s important to know the company’s history. This helps us understand the various revenue streams, if they acquired other companies, how they grew through difficult times, and how they separated themselves from the competition

For those of you who have ever seen the show Breaking Bad, think of Walter White’s specialty. No, I’m not talking about crystal meth, I’m talking about chemical engineering. The character was an absolute expert with chemicals. Well in this circumstance, Westlake, is a global expert in chemical engineering.

At a high level, Westlake makes products for food packaging, medical devices, soaps and detergents, car interiors, fashion, toys, shoes, furniture, electronics, siding, stone veneer, windows, outdoor living, roofing, and pipes and fittings.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of their product lines.

  • Building Products – This includes siding, soffits, exterior trim and moldings, interior trim and moldings, shutters, mounts, vents, decking materials, composite stone, and roofing.
  • Caustic soda – Caustic soda is the chemical compound sodium hydroxide (NaOH). Caustic soda is a common ingredient in the production of many everyday items including soap.
  • Chlorine – Chlorine is produced by passing an electric current through salt water or brine. Well known for its disinfecting ability, chlorine is an essential agent in the chemical industry and serves as a building block in thousands of products including drinking water, pools, spas, household disinfectants, food, healthcare, solar energy, plastic foam for construction, smartphones, tablets, and more.
  • Dimex – Dimex products include home and office floors, marine dock edging, industrial matting, landscape products, and masonry control joints.
  • Epoxy – Epoxy is used to fasten materials together and is found in cars, trucks, wind turbines, electronics, aircrafts, and buildings.
  • Olefins – Olefins include polyethylene which is used to create large containers, food containers, and personal care products.
  • Pipe & Fittings – Pipe & fittings are used for residential and commercial plumbing, water systems, and agriculture.
  • PVC pipes – Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are found in almost every physical building. 
  • Water treatment products – Watering treatment products include sanitizers and shock treatment chemicals.

Step 3: Westlake News

➡️ Goal: It’s important to highlight important company-specific news as well as industry-specific news over the last month and year. We don’t need daily news on a company to make buy or sell decisions because we’re investors, not traders. Overall, we want sufficient news to understand where a company and industry are heading over the next year or few years.

This article from lists 5 top-ranked dividend stocks including Group 1 Auto, Westlake, Everest Re, ArcBest, and Cambell Soup.

This article from lists Westlake as a #1 strong buy (Zacks has a 1 – 5 rating system). This stock has delivered an unmatched 25% average annual return since 1988 which is more than double the performance of the S&P 500 over the same time period. The consistent strong financials make this a top stock for any portfolio.

This article from states that when the market rallies, Westlake should see at least a 37% EPS increase which will result in a significant share price increase. The company has delivered consistently strong financials quarter over quarter and year over year with no signs of slowing down.

This article from lists 3 value stocks to add to your list including Manulife Financial Corp, Western Midstream Partners, and Westlake. Westlake was mentioned because net sales grew 80% year over year and they ended 2021 with $1.7B in free cash which is by far the highest free cash the company has ever seen. 

Step 4: Westlake Competition

➡️ Goal: It’s important to understand who the competitors are and how their financials rank against this company. Try to find 5 other competitors to rank against based on Score. The best way to find competitors is to Google “XYZ competition” and replace XYZ with the company name. You can also go to Tykr and click on the “Similar Stocks” tab on each stock to see similar companies in the same industry.

Olin Corporation (OLN)

  • Summary: On Sale
  • Score: 72/100
  • MOS: 65%
  • Share Price: $48
  • Sticker Price: $106
  • Revenue: $8.9B

Schweiter Technologies (SWTQ.SW)

  • Summary: Overpriced
  • Score: 33/100
  • MOS: 0%
  • Share Price: CHf981
  • Sticker Price: CHf992
  • Revenue: CHf1.16B

Sasol (SOL.JSE)

  • Summary: Overpriced
  • Score: 39/100
  • MOS: 0%
  • Share Price: R34,697
  • Sticker Price: R35,092
  • Revenue: R201B

Formosa Prosonic Industries (9172.KLSE)

  • Summary: Watch
  • Score: 78/100
  • MOS: 0%
  • Share Price: RM2.72
  • Sticker Price: RM2.75
  • Revenue: RM938

Step 5: Westlake 4Ms

➡️ Goal: All of our homework on this company leads up to the 4M checklist. A lot of investors only look at the numbers. Yes, it’s important to look at the first M (MOS) which is the math part of investing but it’s also important to look past the numbers and also look at the business, the competition, and the management. If all 4Ms pass, we should have high confidence in buying this stock.

✅ MOS: The financials are perfect. A score of 100/100 and MOS of 90% show this stock is running on all cylinders. As of July of 2022, there are only 25 stocks in Tykr with a score of 100/100 and MOS of 90%.

✅ Meaning: This is the definition of a boring business but keep in mind, boring is good. Boring businesses are usually well-established and predictable. In this case, Westlake manufactures essential products that go into a lot of products we use including food packaging, soaps, detergents, fashion, shoes, electronics, and more. This business model isn’t going away anytime soon.

✅ Moat: This is a great sign for Westlake because the competition doesn’t even compare. The financials of the companies listed above are awful in comparison to Westlake.

✅ Management: Albert Chao has served as CEO since 2004. Prior to his role as CEO, he served as President since 1996. Albert and his brother James Chao helped their father T.T. Chao found Westlake in 1986. Albert and James learned a lot from their father, T.T. Chao. T.T. built Taiwan’s first polyvinyl chloride plant in 1954 and in 1964 he founded China General Plastics Group which grew to become one of the largest plastic manufacturers in Asia. 

Step 6: Is Westlake stock a good buy?

In this case, all 4Ms pass with flying colors. This is an overall strong company that will most likely be around for the next 10 years and longer. It’s incredible to point out that this stock has delivered 25% annual returns (on average) since 1988. When this market takes off, this stock should deliver some impressive returns. If you’re looking for a boring but essential company to help diversify your portfolio, this stock may be a great option.

The Summary, Score, and MOS of this stock may have changed since the posting of this review. Please login to Tykr to see up-to-date information.

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