Now Is A Suitable Moment For A Long-Term Purchase Of WestRock Company (NYSE: WRK)


    SSgA Funds Management, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Consumer Cyclical company by 9.59% to 12.96 million shares with purchase of 1.13 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 5.00% valued currently at $348.16 million. In addition, Fidelity Management & Research Co.. raised its holdings by 6.3 million to 7.74 million shares. And T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (I.. has lifted its position by 68.03% or 2.47 million shares – to 6.1 million shares.

    With over 2.6 million WestRock Company (WRK) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $32.07 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $83.25 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 4.84% and its price on 09/01/20 gained nearly 5.74%. Currently, there are 259.40M common shares owned by the public and among those 255.62M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 15 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for WRK have a consensus price objective of $36.38. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $55.00 and a low of $26.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the WestRock Company stock is 2.50 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 15.61% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -23.35% over that period. But an upside of 41.69% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $35.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 81 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 64 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 832,634 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 17 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 517,537 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in WestRock Company are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, and Vanguard 500 Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 7.37 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $197.91 million. The company sold 4358.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.84% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund sold 48109.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 6.36 million shares valued at over $170.88 million and representing 2.45% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold 33360.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 5.35 million shares at a value of $143.6 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.06% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of WestRock Company (NYSE: WRK) opened at $30.38, up $0.05 from a prior closing price of $30.33. However, the script later closed the day at $32.07, up 5.74%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 4.84% and 7.37% over the past three months. WRK shares are trading -25.26% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -2.85% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $21.50 and touched a high of $44.39 over the same period. Currently, 2.6 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 2.47 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 6.99%, 10.28%, and -2.68% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of WestRock Company (NYSE: WRK) shares accounts for 83.90% of the company’s 259.40M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 38.97%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 44.58% and 1.57% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $8.27B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.52. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 10.70, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $3.00. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.99% over the week and 3.84% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that WestRock Company (WRK) will achieve an EPS of $0.65 for the current quarter, $0.47 for the next quarter and $2.45 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.5 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.74. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.24 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 26.00%, and -7.86% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of -3.24% over the next five years, compared to 0.40% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 15 brokerage firm advisors rate WestRock Company (WRK) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.50. Specifically, 6 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 7 of the 15 advise that investors “hold,” and 1 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the WRK, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Morgan Stanley stated their Equal-Weight rating for the stock in a research note on June 15, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $28. Citigroup coverage for the WestRock Company (WRK) stock in a research note released on January 06, 2020 offered a Buy rating with a price target of $48. Wells Fargo was of a view on January 02, 2020 that the stock is Overweight, while Exane BNP Paribas gave the stock Outperform rating on December 02, 2019, issuing a price target of. BofA/Merrill on their part issued Buy rating on November 18, 2019.


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