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Westlake Chemical Corporation

Westlake consists of two primary business segments: Olefins and Vinyls. Olefins (25% FY17 sales, 42% FY17 EBITDA) consists largely of polyethylene, with a smaller styrene/feedstock component. Vinyls (75% FY17 sales, 58% FY17 EBITDA) consists of the relatively commoditized chlor-alkali business, and Building Products, which consists of Westlake's legacy downstream vinyls operations and those acquired from Axiall. (21 Sep 2018)

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Westlake 3Q18: Volatility Ahead

Earnings Note: 11 Nov 2018, 10:32 PM ET - Although Westlake reported solid 3Q18 results, the company should experience some volatility in its operating performance owing to softness in the Olefins segment coupled some pricing pressure in the PVC business.

LIN/PX Merger: Conditional Approval from the FTC

Worth Watching: 22 Oct 2018, 10:22 PM ET - LIN/PX Merger Update: The FTC has granted a conditional approval for the Linde/Praxair merger subject to further asset divestitures. In addition to the assets Linde had already agreed to divest in July 2018, the FTC requires the sale of furthe ..

US Strategy: What to Watch for on 3Q Earning Calls

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 4:37 AM ET - We surveyed our analyst teams for key sector level issues they will be paying close attention to with upcoming third quarter earnings calls beyond the typical sales, margins and earnings guidance. 

August 2018 US Company Recommendation Changes

US Company Recommendation Changes: 02 Sep 2018, 9:49 PM ET - Our monthly report provides executive summaries for the thirty company recommendation changes made on North American companies during the month of August.
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Westlake 2Q18: Mixed Outlook - M/P

Earnings Note: 06 Aug 2018, 9:06 PM ET - Westlake quarterly results were positive, however, we are downgrading the name to Market perform on industry weakness in the near term. 

US IG Strategy: Picks and Pans (July 2018)

Strategy Analysis: 23 Jul 2018, 4:36 AM ET - In this document we summarize our sector recommendations, and provide a few names within each that we like (picks) and dislike (pans). Our Picks and Pans reflect our analysts' current views. 
Focused

Westlake 1Q18: CAV makes up for Olefins

Earnings Note: 07 May 2018, 9:03 PM ET - Westlake 's quarterly results benefited from favorable North American CAV exports, giving investors some optimism as olefins missed expectations. 

US IG Strategy: Picks and Pans (April 2018)

Strategy Analysis: 26 Apr 2018, 4:43 AM ET - In this document we summarize our sector recommendations, and provide a few names within each that we like (picks) and dislike (pans). Our Picks and Pans reflect our analysts' current views. 

Bayer: EC Approves Monsanto Deal, DOJ Remains

Worth Watching: 22 Mar 2018, 10:07 PM ET - Bayer 's (A3/A-) $66 bn acquisition of Monsanto (A3/BBB) was conditionally approved by the European Commission on Wednesday. The regulator's concerns surrounding competition and innovation following the merger seem to have been successfully addr ..

Tronox: EU Pauses Review of Cristal Merger

HY Note: 28 Feb 2018, 4:52 AM ET - The EU Commission paused its review of the Tronox/Cristal merger until it receives additional information from the two companies.  Although some may be alarmed, it is a fairly regular component of the EU Phase 2 process.

Section 232: The NAFTA Conundrum

Sector Analysis: 26 Feb 2018, 3:42 AM ET - Using Section 232 on Steel/Aluminum could damage supplier chains and cost structures and drive broader inflation.  A tariff gambit in such key industries could undermine the NAFTA negotiations and have immediate effects on risk pricing. 
Focused

Westlake 4Q17: Vinyls Expansion

Earnings Note: 22 Feb 2018, 11:57 PM ET - Westlake reported solid 4Q17 results. The company is expanding its vinyls capacities on the expectation that the vinyl cycle from both chlor-alkali as well as PVC and VCM are on the upswing.

Chemicals Outlook 2018 (Part 6): Petrochemicals

Sector Outlook: 01 Feb 2018, 4:07 AM ET - A significant amount of ethylene derivative capacity is expected to continue to come online throughout 2018, pressuring prices and margins. Companies will attempt to counter the incoming capacity headwinds with rising plant utilization.
Focused

Chemicals 2018 Outlook (Part 5): Chlor-Alkali

Sector Outlook: 25 Jan 2018, 10:35 PM ET - With investment in chlor-alkali capacity effectively non-existent and positive manufacturing and construction trends around the globe, we expect operating rates around the world to rise in the medium term. 

Chemicals 2018 Outlook (Part 4): Fertilizers

Sector Outlook: 24 Jan 2018, 11:05 AM ET - The fertilizers' industry remains oversupplied and we expect the trend to persist over the next twelve months. Stable prices are expected as new capacity is coupled with supply management.

US IG Strategy: Picks and Pans (January 2018)

Strategy Analysis: 23 Jan 2018, 9:57 PM ET - In this short document we summarize our sector recommendations, and provide a few names within each that we like (picks) and dislike (pans). Our Picks and Pans reflect our analysts' current views. 

Chemicals 2018 Outlook (Part 3): Industrial Gases

Sector Outlook: 21 Jan 2018, 10:14 PM ET - Improving PMI trends not only in North America, but also globally, bode well for Industrial Gas demand in 2018 and will perhaps help mark an end to the protracted period of decline in gas project backlogs.

Chemicals 2018 Outlook (Part 2): The Majors

Sector Outlook: 18 Jan 2018, 10:53 PM ET - M&A is still key within the Majors names as DWDP begins to deliver its promised synergies, Bayer looks to close the Monsanto deal, and BASF continues to opportunistically pick up assets, while riding momentum from its Chemical Segment.

Chemicals 2018 Outlook (Part 1): Specialty Chems

Sector Outlook: 17 Jan 2018, 11:12 PM ET - M&A is likely to play a large role for Specialty Chem names in 2018 as they seek exposure to higher margin products and emerging markets while rising raw materials costs may make it tricky for margins to navigate the year unscathed.

Muni Catch Up: $4.6 bn...That's a Lot of Stuffing!

Municipals Analysis: 19 Nov 2017, 9:05 PM ET - With the risk of new advanced refunding and private activity tax-exempt bonds getting curtailed by tax reform, issuers are sprinting to bring new issues to market before the expected year-end deadline.

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