The Fly

Westlake downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan

JPMorgan analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas downgraded Westlake to Neutral from Overweight with a price target of $109, down from $135. Prices for polyvinyl chloride are under pressure due to seasonally weaker demand, higher interest rates, weaker offshore demand and improved supply availability, Zekauskas tells investors in a research note. He thinks the price weakness in PVC is offsetting pricing gains in caustic soda. The analyst is "reluctant to build new positions" in Westlake "after such a sharp upward change in value that does not reflect changes in operating fundamentals." The share price has risen to a level that is now closer to fair value in the current environment, writes Zekauskas.

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