Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014

Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of robotic surgery system specialist Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG  ) plunged yet again on Friday after it issued guidance that disappointed Wall Street, and said that the FDA had issued a warning letter over one of its facilities.

So what: The stock already plunged last week after management issued a second-quarter sales warning, so today’s downbeat full-year guidance, coupled with the FDA’s letter to resolve some of its concerns, only reinforce the worry that analysts have been having. While safety concerns have weighed on the stock for several months now, fellow Fool Dan Carroll noted earlier that the seemingly drastic slump in da Vinci sales suggests that all of those issues are finally hitting Intuitive where it hurts most — on the bottom line.    

Now what: Management now expects full-year sales growth between zero and 7% over 2012, well below Wall Street’s view of a 15% increase. “Though some da Vinci procedures mature in the United States, we are increasingly exposed to volatility in patient admissions for our core procedures and the consequent lumpiness in capital sales,” said CEO Gary Guthart in a conference call with analysts. Of course, with the stock now off a whopping 40% from its 52-week highs, and trading at a 10-year low P/E, much of the uncertainty surrounding Intuitive might already be discounted into the price.

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: Braskem SA (BRKM5)

Braskem SA is a Brazil-based company primarily engaged in the manufacture of basic petrochemical products. The Company operates in five segments: Basic petrochemicals, Polyolefins, Vinyls, International businesses and Chemical Distribution. The Company’s products portfolio includes ethylene, propylene, butadiene, toluene, xylene, benzene, gasoline, diesel oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), as well as thermoplastic resins, such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Additionally, Braskem is also engaged in the import and export of chemicals, petrochemicals and fuels; the production, supply and sale of utilities, such as steam, water, compressed air, industrial gases, as well as the provision of industrial services, and the production, supply and sale of electric energy for its own use and use by other companies. The Company also invests in other companies, either as a partner or shareholder. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Harry Suhartono]

    Brazil’s Ibovespa rose for a third day as traders pared bets on higher borrowing costs in Brazil, boosting the outlook for companies that sell in the local market. B2W Cia. Digital led gains among retailers, with Lojas Americanas SA (LAME3) and Natura Cosmeticos SA (NATU3) also trading higher. Petrochemicals producer Braskem SA (BRKM5) was the worst performer on the equity gauge after O Estado de S.Paulo reported Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4) is seeking to raise prices of naphtha sold to the company by 5 percent.

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: Rentech Inc (RTK)

Rentech, Inc. (Rentech), incorporated in 1981, is a provider of clean energy solutions. The Company owns and operates a nitrogen fertilizer plant in East Dubuque, Illinois, that manufactures and sells natural gas-based nitrogen fertilizer products within the corn-belt region in the United States. It is developing energy projects to produce certified synthetic fuels and electric power from carbon-containing materials, such as biomass, waste and fossil resources. Its technologies can produce synthesis gas (syngas) from biomass and waste materials, and convert syngas from its own or other gasification technologies into complex hydrocarbons (the Rentech Process) that are then upgraded into fuels using refining technology that it licenses. In addition to developing projects using these technologies, it is pursuing the licensing of its technologies to developers of projects that are expected to produce fuels and/or power. In May 2011, it acquired majority interest in ClearFuels Technology Inc. In May 2013, Rentech Inc acquired the entire share capital of Fulghum Fibres Inc. In August 2013, Rentech Inc announced that a subsidiary of the Company closed the sale of approximately 450 acres in Natchez, Mississippi to Adams County, Mississippi.

The Rentech Process is a technology based on Fischer-Tropsch (FT) chemistry, which converts syngas that can be produced from a range of biomass, waste and fossil resources into hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons can be processed and upgraded into synthetic fuels, such as military and commercial jet fuels and low sulfur diesel fuel, as well as waxes and chemicals. Unlike some other alternative transportation fuels, such as ethanol, fuels produced from the Rentech Process can be transported and used in existing infrastructure, including pipelines and engines without blending restrictions. Its technology portfolio also includes the Rentech-SilvaGas biomass gasification technology (the Rentech-SilvaGas Tech nology), which enables it to offer integrated technologies t! hat can convert biomass and wastes to syngas and into clean fuels and electric power.

The Rentech Process can produce synthetic diesel fuels (RenDiesel1 fuels), which are clean burning having lower emissions of regulated pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and particulate matter, than traditional petroleum-based diesel fuels. The Rentech Process also can produce synthetic jet fuel (RenJet fuel), which when blended with conventional jet fuel meet jet fuel specifications for military jet fuel and commercial Jet A and Jet A-1 fuels. It is developing a proposed project near Natchez, Mississippi (the Natchez Project) designed to produce approximately 30,000 barrels per day of synthetic fuels and chemicals and approximately 120 megawatts of power. It is evaluating alternative configurations for the Natchez site, which would initially be smaller in scale. The alternate configurations may use various feed-stocks alone or in various combinations, and incl ude proportions of waxes and chemicals as products.

The Company owns, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Rentech Energy Midwest Corporation (REMC), a nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing plant that uses natural gas as its feedstock to produce syngas and then nitrogen fertilizer products. The products, the Company can produce include renewable synthetic diesel and jet fuels, naphtha and power from biomass resources; synthetic diesel and jet fuels, naphtha and power from fossil or fossil and biomass resources, and paraffinic waxes, solvents and specialty chemicals.

The Company competes with ExxonMobil, the Royal Dutch/Shell group, Statoil, BP and Sasol.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Alternative energy specialist Rentech  (NASDAQ: RTK  )  will be buying back up to $25 million worth of company stock through the rest of the year, the board of directors announced Monday.

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of fertilizer and renewable energy company Rentech (NASDAQ: RTK  ) jumped 17% today after the company announced an acquisition.

  • [By Robert Rapier] While the MLP space is dominated by the oil and gas sector, in last week’s article we began to explore some of the more exotic master limited partnership offerings. This week we continue our exploration of nontraditional MLPs by looking at the partnerships supplying fertilizer.

    Rentech (Nasdaq: RTK) has been around for more than a decade, and it has shifted strategies several times. Full disclosure: Rentech’s Chief Technology Officer Harold Wright is a former manager of mine when we were both at ConocoPhillips, and I have visited Rentech’s facility in Commerce City, Colorado.

    For most of Rentech’s existence, the company has sought to commercialize alternative fuels. At one time it had ambitions to build a large coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant, but federal legislation ultimately nudged it instead into the biomass-to-liquids (BTL) space. The company did build a BTL demonstration plant, but ultimately shut it down and has now refocused its effor ts on becoming “one of the largest wood processing companies in the world.”

    During its interesting journey as a company, Rentech acquired two ammonia nitrogen fertilizer facilities, which turned out to be a profit center that funded the alternative energy research. In November 2011, Rentech spun off this fertilizer business into an MLP called Rentech Nitrogen Partners LP (NYSE: RNF).

    In the months leading to the spin-off, RTK’s market capitalization was about $200 million. Rentech maintained 60 percent ownership of RNF, and three months after the spin-off RTK’s market cap had risen to $400 million, while investors had bid RNF up to $1 billion. Interestingly, RTK’s share of RNF was worth more than RTK’s entire market cap, a situation that persists. The market currently values Rentech at $482 million, while the valuation of Rentech Nitrogen Partners makes RTK’s 60 percent stake in RNF worth slightly more than $600 million — another illu

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: W. R. Grace & Co (GRA)

W.R. Grace & Co. (Grace), incorporated on August 6, 1997, is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials on a global basis. The Company operates in three segments: Grace Catalysts Technologies; Grace Materials Technologies; and Grace Construction Products. Grace Catalysts Technologies will include catalysts and related technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications. Grace’s Advanced Refining Technologies LLC (ART) joint venture will be managed in this segment. Grace Materials Technologies will include engineered materials, coatings and sealants used in industrial, consumer, pharmaceutical and packaging applications. Grace Construction Products will include specialty construction chemicals and specialty building materials used in commercial, infrastructure and residential construction. The Company conducts business in over 40 countries. In July 2012, the Company acquired Rheoset Industria e Co mercio de Aditivos Ltda. In November 2012, the Company acquired the assets of Noblestar Catalysts Co., Ltd. In April 2013, it acquired Chemind Construction Products. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has completed the acquisition of the assets of the Polypropylene Licensing and Catalysts business of The Dow Chemical Company.

Refining Technologies

The Company is engaged in developing and manufacturing fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts and additives for petroleum refiners. Grace markets hydroprocessing catalysts primarily through ART, its joint venture with Chevron Products Company (Chevron). The Company established ART to combine its technology with that of Chevron and to develop, market and sell hydroprocessing catalysts to customers in the petroleum refining industry worldwide. Grace is a supplier of hydroprocessing catalysts designed for processing these feedstocks. The Company offers products for fixed-bed resid hydrotreating , on-stream catalyst replacement, ebullating-bed resid hydro! cracking and distillate hydrotreating processes. It also offers a full line of catalysts, customized for individual refiners, used in processing ultra-low sulfur content gasoline and diesel fuel, including its SMART Catalyst System and ApART catalyst system.

Grace provides enabling technologies that are silica- and silica-alumina-based functional additives and process aids, such as silica gel, colloidal silica, zeolitic adsorbents, precipitated silica and silica-aluminas, for a range of applications. The Company’s product portfolio includes PERKASIL, LUDOX, PHONOSORB, PHONOSORB MTX, SYLOBEAD, SYLOSIV, CRYOSIV, SAFETYSORB, PoliEdge, SYLODENT, SYLOID FP, SYLOBLANC, ELFADENT, SYLOID, DARACLAR, TriSyl, SHIELDEX, SYLOWHITE, SYLOJET, DURAFILL, LUDOX, DAREX, DARAFORM, DARASEAL, DARABLEND, Sincera, Celox, Apperta, Sistiaga, and SAFETYSORB.

Specialty Technologies

The Company is a provider of catalyst systems and catalyst supports to the polyol efins industry for a variety of polyethylene and polypropylene process technologies. These types of catalysts are used for the manufacture of polyethylene and polypropylene resins used in products such as plastic film, high-performance plastic pipe, automobile parts, household appliances and household containers. Its Magnapore polymerization catalyst is used to produce high performance polyethylene in the slurry loop process for pipe and film applications. Its POLYTRAK polymerization catalyst is used in automobile bumpers and household appliances. The Company’s DAVICAT standard and customized catalysts offer a range of chemical and physical properties based on its material science technology for supported catalysts, polystyrene, herbicide, neutriceuticals and on purpose olefins. The Company’s RANEY nickel, cobalt and copper hydrogenation and dehydrogenation catalysts are used for the synthesis of organic compounds for the fibers, polyurethanes, engineered plastics, pharmaceu ticals, sweeteners and petroleum industries.

Gr! ace Const! ruction Products

Grace Construction Products produces and sells specialty construction chemicals and specialty building materials. It includes construction chemicals including concrete admixtures and fibers used to modify the rheology, improve the durability and enhance various other properties of concrete, mortar, masonry and other cementitious construction materials; and additives used in cement processing to improve energy efficiency in manufacturing, enhance the characteristics of finished cement and improve ease of use, and Building materials used in both new construction and renovation/repair projects. The products protect buildings and civil engineering structures from water, vapor and air penetration. The portfolio includes waterproofing membranes for commercial and residential buildings, specialty grouts for use in waterproofing and soil stabilization applications, air and vapor barriers, and other products to solve the specialized needs of preventative and repair applications.

The Company competes with Albemarle, BASF, Criterion, Haldor Topsoe, Axens, PQ/INEOS, Evonik, UOP, Altana, Waters Corporation, Agilent Technologies, Thermo-Fisher and Sika.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Yet the price spike also spurred the development of alternatives to the metals. Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) , for example, began manufacturing cars with induction motors rather than with those using rare earth magnets, as did General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) , which noted that although they’re slightly less efficient, they’re also a heckuva lot cheaper to make and buy. General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) began developing wind turbine generators that relied less upon permanent-magnet machines and W.R. Grace (NYSE: GRA  ) offered fluid catalytic cracking catalysts, which oil refiners use to produce gasoline and diesel, that contained less lanthanum. 

  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    Dow Chemical recently agreed to sell its polypropylene licensing and catalysts business to fellow chemicals company W. R. Grace & Co. (GRA) for $500 million.

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: Tronox Ltd (TROX)

Tronox Limited, incorporated on September 21, 2011, is engaged in production and marketing of titanium bearing mineral sands and titanium dioxide pigment (TiO2). The Company’s TiO2 products are critical components of everyday applications, such as coatings, plastics, paper and other applications. The Company’s mineral sands business consists primarily of two product streams: titanium feedstock and zircon. The Company operates in three segments: mineral sands, pigment and corporate and other. The corporate and other include its electrolytic manufacturing business. It has operations in North America, Europe, South Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. The Company operates three TiO2 facilities at the locations in Hamilton, Mississippi, Botlek, The Netherlands, and Kwinana, Western Australia, representing approximately 465,000 tons of annual TiO2 production capacity. In addition, it operates three separate mining operations: KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Sands located in South Africa , Namakwa Sands located in South Africa and the Tiwest Joint Venture located in Western Australia, which has a combined annual production capacity of approximately 723,000 tons of titanium feedstock and approximately 265,000 tons of zircon. On June 15, 2012, the existing business of Tronox Incorporated was combined with the mineral sands business under Tronox Limited.

Mineral Sand segment

The Company’s minerals segment includes the exploration, mining and beneficiation of mineral sands deposits. These operations produce titanium feedstock, including ilmenite, chloride slag, slag fines and rutile, as well as zircon, pig iron and activated charcoal. Titanium feedstock is used primarily to manufacture TiO2. Zircon is a mineral which is primarily used as an opacifier in ceramic glazes for tiles, plates, dishes and industrial products.

Pigment segment

The Company’s pigment segment primarily produces and markets TiO2, and has pr oduction facilities in the United States, Australia, and the! Netherlands. TiO2 is used in a range of products due to its ability to impart whiteness, brightness and opacity. TiO2 is used in the manufacture of coatings, plastics and paper and in a range of other applications, including inks, fibers, rubber, food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. TiO2 is a critical component of everyday consumer applications due to its superior ability to cover or mask other materials effectively and efficiently relative to alternative white pigments and extenders.

Corporate and other

Corporate and other is comprised of corporate activities and businesses that are no longer in operation, as well as its electrolytic manufacturing and marketing operations, all of which are located in the United States. It’s electrolytic and other chemical products operations are focused on advanced battery materials, sodium chlorate and specialty boron products.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Kronos Worldwide, Inc. Since 1916, Kronos Worldwide has been producing titanium dioxide pigments (TiO2), the world’s primary pigment for providing whiteness, brightness and opacity. Kronos Worldwide also owns the world’s largest mining operation of ilmenite, the raw material used for titanium products such as white pigment titanium oxide and titanium metal products. Citi analyst James Finnerty told clients in a note Monday that Kronos Worldwide could be a target for Tronox Ltd (NYSE: TROX) as the combined entity would account for 19% of global titanium dioxide capacity. Moreover, a buyout offer could be partially funded by a seven-year $1.5 billion term loan that Tronox Ltd secured in March, with around $700 million used to pay down existing debt. On Monday, Kronos Worldwide rose 7.96% to $18.58 (KRO has a 52 week trading range of $14.44 to $20.52 a share) for a market cap of $2.15 billion plus the stock is down 4.7% since the start of the year and up 273.1% over the past five years. Kronos Worldwide has no P/E and has a forward dividend of $0.60 for a dividend yield of 3.5%.

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    Under the strain of the environmental liabilities, Kerr-McGee was forced to reorganize in 2001. As a result, it eventually spun off its chemicals business and a paint pigment plant into Tronox (TROX) in 2005. That spin-off took many of Kerr-McGee’s old environmental liabilities with it. Three months after it was complete, Anadarko offered to buy Kerr-McGee’s oil and gas assets. Tronox was later forced to file for bankruptcy under the weight of the fines and levies.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The “drop” mentioned in this question referred to the correction in the prices of many domestic oil producer shares that I had warned was likely during our November web chat. But on Dec. 14, just two days after our latest chat, Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) suffered a far more worrisome drop. On that day a judge ruled that Anadarko is responsible for at least $5 billion and perhaps up to $14 billion of cleanup costs related to Tronox (NYSE: TROX), which was spun out of Kerr-McGee in 2005 and subsequently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.

  • [By James O’Toole]

    In 2005 and 2006, the company transferred its valuable oil and gas exploration assets to a new corporate entity that was later acquired by Anadarko. The environmental liabilities were left with the old company, which was renamed Tronox (TROX).

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: KMG Chemicals Inc (KMG)

KMG Chemicals, Inc., incorporated on July 30, 1992, manufactures, formulates and globally distributes specialty chemicals. The Company has acquired and operates businesses selling electronic chemicals and industrial wood treating chemicals. The Company operates in two segments: electronic chemicals and wood treating chemicals. The Company’s electronic chemicals segment provides wet process chemicals to the semiconductor industry, primarily to clean and etch silicon wafers in the production of semiconductors. The Company supplies wet process chemicals to the semiconductor industry in the United States and Europe. Its wood treating chemicals, pentachlorophenol (penta), and creosote, are sold to industrial customers who use these preservatives primarily to extend the useful life of utility poles and railroad crossties. The Company is the supplier of penta in North America, and supplier of creosote in the United States to wood treaters who do not produce their own creosote. On March 1, 2012, the Company discontinued its animal health business. In June 2013, the Company announced that it completed the acquisition of the Ultra Pure Chemicals subsidiaries of OM Group Inc located in the United States, England and Singapore.

Electronic Chemicals

The Company’s electronic chemicals business sells wet process chemicals primarily to the semiconductor industry. These chemicals are used to clean and etch silicon wafers in the production of semiconductors. The Company’s products include sulfuric, phosphoric, nitric and hydrofluoric acids, ammonium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol and various blends of chemicals. The Company’s products are sold in bulk and in containers, including bottles, drums and totes. This process is accomplished at the Company’s Pueblo, Colorado, Hollister, California and Milan, Italy facilities, although the Company contracts with General Chemical to produce certain products for the Company at its facility. As of July 31, 2012, the Company’s electronic ! chemicals business accounted for 58.5% of its net sales.

Wood Treating Chemicals

The Company supplies penta and creosote to industrial customers who use these products to extend the useful life of wood, primarily utility poles and railroad crossties. The Company’s penta products include penta blocks, solutions and hydrochloric acid, a byproduct of penta production. Penta is used primarily to treat utility poles, protecting them from insect damage and decay. The Company manufactures solid penta blocks at its facility in Matamoros, Mexico. The Company sells solid penta to its customers, or make it into a liquid solution of penta concentrate at its Matamoros, Mexico and Tuscaloosa, Alabama facilities. The Company sells penta products primarily in the southeastern and northwestern United States and in Canada. The hydrochloric acid the Company produces as a byproduct of penta production is sold in Mexico for use in the steel and oils well service industr ies. Creosote is a wood preservative used to treat utility poles and railroad crossties. Creosote is produced by the distillation of coal tar, a by-product of the transformation of coal into coke. The Company sells creosote to wood treaters throughout the United States. As of July 31, 2012, the Company’s wood treating chemicals constituted about 41.4% of the Company’s net sales.

The Company competes with Honeywell, Kanto Corporation, Avantor, BASF and the OM Group.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    KMG Chemicals (NYSE: KMG) is expected to report its Q4 earnings at $0.27 per share on revenue of $79.00 million.

    Brown & Brown (NYSE: BRO) is projected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.40 per share on revenue of $348.85 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Analysts expect KMG Chemicals (NYSE: KMG) to report its Q4 earnings at $0.27 per share on revenue of $79.00 million. KMG Chemicals shares surged 4.99% to close at $23.76 on Friday.

  • [By Rich Smith]

    KMG Chemicals (NYSE: KMG  ) is buying OM Group’s (NYSE: OMG  ) Ultra Pure Chemicals subsidiaries in the U.S., U.K., Singapore, and perhaps in France as well.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    KMG Chemicals (NYSE: KMG  ) reported earnings on June 10. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended April 30 (Q3), KMG Chemicals beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: Cabot Corp (CBT)

Cabot Corporation (Cabot), incorporated in 1960, is a global specialty chemicals and performance materials company. The Company’s principal products are rubber and specialty grade carbon blacks, fumed metal oxides, inkjet colorants, aerogels and cesium formate drilling fluids. Cabot and its affiliates have manufacturing facilities and operations in the United States and approximately 20 other countries. The Company operates in four business segments: the Core Segment, the Performance Segment, the New Business Segment and the Specialty Fluids Segment. It is organized into three geographic regions: The Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. On January 23, 2012, the Company sold its Supermetals Business to Global Advanced Metals Pty Ltd. On August 1, 2012, it acquired Norit.

Core Segment

Carbon black is a form of elemental carbon that is manufactured in a highly controlled process to produce particles and aggregates of varied structure and surface chemistry, resulting in many different performance characteristics for a variety of applications. Its rubber blacks products are used in tires and industrial products. The Company owns, or has a controlling interest in, and operates plants that produce rubber blacks in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands and the United States.

Performance Segment

The Performance Segment consists of two product lines: specialty grades of carbon black and thermoplastic concentrates; and fumed silica, fumed alumina and dispersions thereof. In each product line, it designs, manufactures and sells materials that deliver performance in a range of customer applications across the automotive, construction and infrastructure, and electronics and consumer products sectors. In addition, Cabot manufactures and sources thermoplastic concentrates and compounds that are ma rketed to the plastics industry. The Company owns, or has a ! controlling interest in, and operates plants that produce specialty grades of carbon black in China, The Netherlands and the United States. Its products are produced in facilities that it owns, or has a controlling interest in, located in Belgium, China and the United Arab Emirates. The Company also owns, or has a controlling interest in, manufacturing plants that produce fumed metal oxides in the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Germany. During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011 (fiscal 2011), it closed its masterbatch manufacturing facility in Grigno, Italy.

New Business Segment

The Company’s New Business Segment consists of the Inkjet Colorants, Aerogel, Cabot Superior MicroPowders and Cabot Elastomer Composites Businesses. During fiscal 2011, its Cabot Elastomer Composites Business became part of its New Business Segment. The Company produces and sells aqueous inkjet colorants primarily to the inkjet printing market. Its ink jet colorants are produced for various inkjet printing applications, including small office and home office, corporate office, and commercial and industrial printing, as well as for other applications. Its inkjet colorants are manufactured at its facility in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Cabot’s aerogel is a hydrophobic, silica-based particle with a high surface area that is used in a variety of thermal insulation and specialty chemical applications. In the construction industry, the product is used in insulative composite building products and translucent skylight, window, wall and roof systems for insulating eco-daylighting applications. In the oil and gas industry, aerogel is used to insulate subsea pipelines. In the specialty chemicals industry, the product is used to provide matte finishing, insulating and thickening properties for use in a variety of applications. It manufactures its aerogel products at its facility in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Co mpany manufactures its aerogel products at its facility in F! rankfurt,! Germany. Finished products for use in the oil and gas industry are fabricated at a facility in Billerica, Massachusetts. The principal area of commercial focus for Cabot Superior MicroPowders Business (CSMP) is in developing covert taggants for a range of anti-counterfeiting security applications. Development and manufacturing activities are conducted primarily at its facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Mountain View, California. In addition to the carbon black the Company makes using conventional carbon black manufacturing methods, it has developed elastomer composite products that are compounds of natural latex rubber and carbon black made by a liquid phase process. Its Cabot Elastomer Composites Business (CEC) products are targeted for tire, defense, mining, automotive and aerospace applications. It manufactures CEC products at its facility in Port Dickson, Malaysia.

Specialty Fluids Segment

The Company’s Specialty Fluids Segment produ ces and markets cesium formate as a drilling and completion fluid for use primarily in high pressure and high temperature oil and gas well construction. It has a mine and a cesium formate manufacturing facility in Manitoba, Canada, as well as fluid blending and reclamation facilities in Aberdeen, Scotland and in Bergen and Kristiansund, Norway.

The Company competes with Aspen Aerogel, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Cabot (NYSE: CBT  ) has elected not to shift its dividend policy for the time being. The company declared its latest common stock distribution, which is to be $0.20 per share paid on September 13 to shareholders of record as of August 30. That amount matches each of the firm’s previous five distributions, the most recent of which was handed out in the middle of last month. Prior to that, Cabot paid $0.18 per share.

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: Gulf Resources Inc (GURE)

Gulf Resources, Inc. (Gulf Resources), incorporated on February 28, 1989, is engaged in manufacturing and trading of bromine and crude salt, and manufacturing and selling of chemical products used in oil and gas field exploration, oil and gas distribution, oil field drilling, wastewater processing, papermaking chemical agents and inorganic chemicals. As of December 31, 2011, its products have been sold only within the People’s Republic of China. The Company operates in three segments: bromine, crude salt and chemical products. It manufactures and trades bromine and crude salt through Shouguang City Haoyuan Chemical Company Limited (SCHC), and manufactures chemical products for use in the oil industry and paper manufacturing industry through Shouguang Yuxin Chemical Industry Co., Limited (SYCI). On December 22, 2011, the Company acquired substantially all of the assets owned by Liangcai Zhang in the Shouguang City Yangkou Township Area.

Bromine and Crude Salt

The Company manufactures and distributes bromine through its wholly owned subsidiary, SCHC. Bromine (Br2) is a halogen element and it is a red volatile liquid at standard room temperature, which has reactivity between chlorine and iodine. Elemental bromine is used to manufacture a variety of bromine compounds used in industry and agriculture. Bromine is also used to form intermediates in organic synthesis. Its bromine is used in brominated flame retardants, fumigants, water purification compounds, dyes, medicines and disinfectants. Its production sites are located in the Shandong Province in northeastern China. Its production feeds include natural brine, vitriol, chlorine, sulfur and coal.

Crude Salt

The Company also produces crude salt, which is produced from the evaporation of the wastewater after its bromine production process. Once the brine is returned to the surface and the bromine is removed, the remaining brine is pumped to ons ite containing pools and then exposed to natural sunshine. T! his causes the water to evaporate from the brine, resulting in salt being left over afterwards. Crude salt is the principal material in alkali production, as well as chlorine alkali production and is used in the chemical, food and beverage, and other industries.

Chemical Products

The Company produces chemical products through its wholly owned subsidiary, SYCI. The products it produces include hydroxyl guar gum, demulsified agent, corrosion inhibitor for acidizing, bactericide, chelant, iron ion stabilizer, clay stabilizing agent, flocculants agent, remaining agent, expanding agent, bromopropane, environmental friendly additive products, solid lubricant and polyether lubricant.

Gulf Resources competes with Shandong Yuyuan Group Company Limited, Shandong Haihua Group Company Limited, Shandong Dadi Salt Chemical Group Company Limited, Shandong Haiwang Chemical Company Limited, Shandong Weifang Longwei Industrial Company Limited, Shandong Caiyangzi Saltworks, Beijing Tianqing Chemical Company Limited, Shandong Weifang Shuangxing Pesticides Company Limited, Zibo Dacheng Pesticides Company Limited, Befar Group Company Limited, China Eastar (Group) Chemical Industry Company Limited and Pecome Technologies Limited.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another under-$10 basic materials player that’s starting to move within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Gulf Resources (GURE), which manufactures and trades bromine and crude salt, and manufactures and sells chemical products used in oil and gas field exploration. This stock has been a favorite target of the bulls so far in 2013, with shares up sharply by 140%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Gulf Resources, you’ll notice that this stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $1.10 to its recent high of $3.10 a share. During that uptrend, shares of GURE have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of GURE within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

    Market players should now look for long-biased trades in GURE if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.87 to its 52-week high at $3.10 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 467,986 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then GURE will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $4 to $4.50 a share.

    Traders can look to buy GURE off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some near-term support levels at $2.38 a share, or near its 50-day moving average of $2.23 a share. One can also buy GURE off strength once it starts to clear those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO) is up 28.3% at $24.05. Gulf Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: GURE) is up 15.8% at $2.46.

    Stocks on the Move: ViroPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: VPHM) is up 25.4% at $49.38 on a $4.2 billion buyout offer from London-listed Shire. Zalicus Inc. (NASDAQ: ZLCS) is down 72.3% at $1.30 on a failed drug trial.

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: Koppers Holdings Inc (KOP)

Koppers Holdings Inc. (Koppers), incorporated on November 12, 2004,is a global provider of carbon compounds and commercial wood treatment products and services. The Company’s products are used in a variety of niche applications in a diverse range of end-markets, including the aluminum, railroad, specialty chemical, utility, concrete and steel industries. The Company serves its customers through a global manufacturing and distribution networks, with manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Australia, China, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark. The Company operates in two business segments: Carbon Materials & Chemicals and railroads & Utility Products.

The Company’s operations are, to a substantial extent, vertically integrated. Through the Company’s Carbon Materials & Chemicals business, the Company processes coal tar into a variety of products, including carbon pitch, creosote, naphthalene and phthalic anhydride, which are intermediat e materials necessary in the production of aluminum, the pressure treatment of wood, the production of high-strength concrete, and the production of plasticizers and specialty chemicals, respectively. Through the Company’s Railroad & Utility Products business, the Company believes that the Company is thesupplier of railroad crossties to the North American railroads.

Carbon Materials & Chemicals

Carbon pitch, naphthalene, and creosote are produced through the distillation of coal tar, a by-product generated through the processing of coal into coke for use in steel and iron manufacturing. Coal tar distillation involves the conversion of coal tar into a variety of intermediate chemical products in processes beginning with distillation. During the distillation process, heat and vacuum are utilized to separate coal tar into three primary components: carbon pitch (approximately 50%), chemical oils (approximately 20%) and creosote (approximately 30%).

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The Company’s Carbon Materials & Chemicals business! (CM&C) manufactures principal products, including carbon pitch, a critical raw material used in the production of aluminum and steel; naphthalene, used for the production of phthalic anhydride and as a surfactant in the production of concrete; phthalic anhydride, used in the production of plasticizers, polyester resins and alkyd paints, and creosote and carbon black feedstock, used in the treatment of wood or as a feedstock in the production of carbon black. The Company also uses naphthalene as a feedstock in the manufacture of phthalic anhydride. The primary markets for phthalic anhydride are in the production of plasticizers, unsaturated polyester resins and alkyd resins. The Company is a producer of carbon pitch for the aluminum industry.

Creosote is used as a commercial wood treatment chemical to preserve railroad crossties and lumber, utility poles and piling. The majority of the Company’s domestically produced creosote is sold to its Railroad & Utility Pr oducts business. In Australia, China and Europe, creosote is sold primarily into the carbon black market for use as a feedstock in the production of carbon black. In Europe and China creosote is also sold to wood treaters. The Company’s wood treating plants in the United States purchase substantially all of their creosote from the Company’s tar distillation plants.

Other products include the sale of refined tars, benzole and specialty chemicals. The Company’s CM&C business manufactures its primary products and sells them directly to the Company’s global customer base under long-term contracts or through purchase orders negotiated by its regional sales personnel and coordinated through its global marketing group in the United States. The Company’s nine coal tar distillation facilities including joint ventures and four carbon materials terminals give the Company the ability to offer customers multiple sourcing and a consistent supply of products.

Rail road & Utility Products

The Company’s Railroad ! & Utility! Products business (R&UP) sells treated and untreated wood products, rail joint bars and services primarily to the railroad and public utility markets in the United States and Australia. The Company also produces concrete crossties, a complementary product to its wood treatment business, through a joint venture in the United States.

Railroad products include procuring and treating items such as crossties, switch ties and various types of lumber used for railroad bridges and crossings. Railroad products also include manufacturing and selling rail joint bars, which are steel bars used to join rails together for railroads. Utility products include transmission and distribution poles for electric and telephone utilities and piling used in industrial foundations, beach housing, docks and piers. The R&UP business operates 13 wood treating plants, one rail joint bar manufacturing facility, one co-generation facility and 13 pole distribution yards located throughout the United States and Australia. The Company’s network of plants is strategically located near timber supplies to enable the Company to access raw materials and service customers effectively. In addition, the Company’s crosstie treating plants are typically adjacent to its railroad customers’ track lines, and its pole distribution yards are typically located near its utility customers.

In the United States, hardwood lumber is procured by the Company from hundreds of small sawmills throughout the northeastern, midwestern and southern areas of the country. The crossties are shipped via rail car or trucked directly to one of the Company’s crosstie treating plants, all of which are on line with a railroad. The crossties are either air-stacked for a period of six to twelve months or artificially dried by a process called boultonizing. Once dried, the crossties are pressure treated with creosote, a product of the Company’s CM&C business.

The Company’s R&UP b usiness’ customer base is the North American Class I railroa! d market,! which buys approximately 80% of all crossties produced in the United States and Canada. The Company also has relationships with many of the approximately 550 short-line and regional rail lines. This also forms the customer base for the Company’s rail joint bar products. The railroad crosstie market is a mature market with approximately 23 million replacement crossties (both wood and non-wood) purchased during 2012. The Company supplies all seven of the North American Class I railroads and have contracts with six of them. The Company treats poles with a variety of preservatives, including pentachlorophenol, copper chrome arsenates and creosotes .In the United States the market for utility pole products is characterized by a number of small producers selling into a price-sensitive industry. The utility pole market is fragmented domestically, with over 200 investor-owned electric and telephone utilities and 2,900 smaller municipal utilities and rural electric associations.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of Koppers Holdings (NYSE: KOP  ) were looking rusty today, falling as much as 12% after the company cut its outlook for the current quarter.

Best Chemical Stocks To Own For 2014: PolyOne Corp (POL)

PolyOne Corporation (PolyOne), incorporated on August 31, 2000, is a provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions with operations in specialty polymer formulations, color and additive systems, polymer distribution and specialty vinyl resins. The Company is a specialized developer and manufacturer of additives, liquid colorants, and fluoropolymer and silicone colorants. The Company offers approximately 52,000 polymer solutions to approximately 14,000 customers across the globe. The Company has 60 manufacturing sites and nine distribution facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. The Company operates in four segments: Global Specialty Engineered Materials; Global Color, Additives and Inks; Performance Products and Solutions, and PolyOne Distribution. On January 3, 2011, the Company acquired Uniplen Industria de Polimeros Ltda. (Uniplen). In February 2011, the Company sold its 50% interest in SunBelt Chlor Alkali Partnership (SunBelt). On December 21, 2011, the Company acquired ColorMatrix Group, Inc. In December 2012, the Company acquired Glasforms Inc. Effective March 13, 2013, the Company acquired the interest of Spartech Corporation.

Global Specialty Engineered Materials

Global Specialty Engineered Materials is a provider of custom plastic formulations, services and solutions for designers, assemblers and processors of thermoplastic materials across a range of markets and end-use applications. Its product portfolio includes standard and custom formulated high-performance polymer compounds that are manufactured using thermoplastic compounds and elastomers, which are then combined with advanced polymer additive, reinforcement, filler, colorant and/or biomaterial technologies. The segment includes GLS Corporation (GLS). Global Specialty Engineered Materials has plants, sales and service facilities located throughout North America, Europe and Asia and South America.

Global Color, Additives and Inks

Global Color! , Additives and Inks is a provider of specialized color and additive concentrates, as well as inks and latexes. Its additive masterbatches encompass a range of performance enhancing characteristics and are commonly categorized by the function that they perform, such as ultra violet (UV) stabilization, anti-static, chemical blowing, antioxidant and lubricant, and processing enhancement. Its colorant and additives masterbatches are used in a range of plastics, including those used in food and medical packaging, transportation, building products, pipe and wire and cable markets. The Company also provides custom-formulated liquid systems that meet a variety of customer needs and chemistries, including vinyl, natural rubber and latex, polyurethane and silicone. Products include inks and latexes for diversified markets, including recreational and athletic apparel, construction and filtration, outdoor furniture and healthcare. Global Color, Additives and Inks has plants, sales and service facilities located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and North America.

Performance Products and Solutions

Performance Products and Solutions offers an array of products and services for vinyl coating, molding and extrusion processors principally in North America. Its product offerings include vinyl compounds, vinyl resins, and specialty coating materials based on vinyl. These products are sold to manufacturers of plastic parts and consumer-oriented products. The Company also offers a range of services, including materials testing and component analysis, custom compound development, colorant and additive services, design assistance, structural analyses, process simulations and extruder screw design. Vinyl is utilized across a range of applications in building and construction, wire and cable, consumer and recreation markets, transportation, packaging and healthcare. The segment also includes Producer Services, which offers custom compo unding services to resin producers and processors that desig! n and dev! elop their own compound and masterbatch recipes.

PolyOne Distribution

The Company’s PolyOne Distribution business distributes approximately 3,500 grades of engineering and commodity grade resins, including PolyOne-produced compounds, to the North American market. These products are sold to approximately 5,700 custom injection molders and extruders who, in turn, convert them into plastic parts that are sold to end-users in a range of industries. Representing approximately 20 major suppliers, the Company offers its customers a product portfolio, just-in-time delivery from multiple stocking locations and local technical support. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company extended its distribution operations to Asia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Specialized polymer materials manufacturer and distributor PolyOne (POL) raised its quarterly dividend 33% to 8 cents per share, payable on Jan. 9, 2014 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 17.
    POL Dividend Yield: 0.97%

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of PolyOne (NYSE: POL  ) jumped 10% today after the company reported earnings.

    So what: First quarter revenue was up 7.5% to $801.1 million and adjusted earnings per share rose 29% to $0.31. Analysts expected higher revenue of $817.1 million but only $0.26 in earnings per share so the bottom line is what investors are excited about today.