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WestRock (WRK) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

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In the latest trading session, WestRock (WRK - Free Report) closed at $39.84, marking a -0.28% move from the previous day. This change lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.97%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 1.09%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.08%.

Heading into today, shares of the paper and packaging company had lost 9.64% over the past month, lagging the Basic Materials sector's gain of 1.33% and the S&P 500's loss of 3.04% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from WRK as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 31, 2019. On that day, WRK is projected to report earnings of $0.84 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 3.45%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $4.58 billion, up 17.68% from the year-ago period.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $4.57 per share and revenue of $19.41 billion, which would represent changes of +11.74% and +19.19%, respectively, from the prior year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for WRK. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.19% lower. WRK is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Digging into valuation, WRK currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 8.74. This valuation marks a no noticeable deviation compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 8.74.

It is also worth noting that WRK currently has a PEG ratio of 1.36. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. The Paper and Related Products was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.36 at yesterday's closing price.

The Paper and Related Products industry is part of the Basic Materials sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 213, putting it in the bottom 17% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

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