Westlake Chemical downgraded to Reduce from Neutral at Nomura Instinet
Nomura Instinet analyst Aleksey Yefremov downgraded Westlake Chemical (WLK) to Reduce from Neutral and lowered his price target for the shares to $57 from $58. Despite a "healthy" Q2 for the U.S.-based ethylene/polyethylene producers, the outlook for the next six-to-nine months is increasingly challenging, Yefremov tells investors in a research note. Over the next six months, U.S. polyethylene capacity should rise by 2.4M while capacity in Asia should increase by 1.2M tons, says the analyst. He believes these trends warrant near-term caution on producers LyondellBasell, Dow Inc. (DOW) and Westlake Chemical (WLK). Yefremov lowered his ratings for LyondellBasell to Neutral and for Westlake to Reduce. However, he maintained a Buy on Dow, citing better prospects in its non-Ppolyethylene portfolio.