Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now


Panera Bread’s (NASDAQ:PNRA) stock price was down more than 8 percent intraday on Wednesday, after the company’s less-than-stellar second quarter earnings announcement. While one earnings miss doesn’t mean game over for Panera, the company also lowered its guidance for the rest of the year. Is Panera losing its footing in the quick casual restaurant space? Let’s use our CHEAT SHEET investing framework to decide whether Panera is an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY.

C = Catalysts for the Stock’s Movement


Panera reported second quarter earnings per share of $1.74, underperforming analysts’ estimates by $0.02. The stock price has responded severely to this earnings miss, and is down 8 percent in Wednesday’s intraday session. However, Panera demonstrated mostly positive results in its report.

Comparable store sales — arguably the most important metric in the restaurant and retail industries — increased 3.8 percent. Diluted EPS and revenues were up 16 percent and 11 percent, respectively, for the quarter. Investors were disappointed by a decreased yearly earnings guidance due to lower projections for same-store sales growth.

Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now: Zoltek Companies Inc (ZOLT)


Zoltek Companies, Inc. is a holding company, which operates through wholly owned subsidiaries, Zoltek Corporation, Zoltek Zrt., Zoltek de Mexico SA de CV, Zoltek de Occidente SA de CV, Engineering Technology Corporation (Entec Composite Machines), Zoltek Properties, Inc., and Zoltek Automotive, LLC. Zoltek Corporation (Zoltek) develops, manufactures and markets carbon fibers and technical fibers in the United States. The Company is an applied technology and advanced materials company. It commercialization of carbon fiber through composites used in a range of commercial products, which it sells under the Panex trade name. In addition to manufacturing carbon fiber, it produces an intermediate product, a stabilized and oxidized acrylic fiber used in flame- and heat-resistant applications, which it sells under the Pyron trade name. During fiscal year ended September 30, 2011 (fiscal 2011), its net sales to Vestas Wind Systems, a wind turbine manufacturer represented % of its n et sales. In October 2011, Zoltek purchased a building in St. Peters, Missouri to house its prepreg operations.


Zoltek Zrt. is a Hungarian subsidiary that manufactures and markets carbon fibers and technical fibers and manufactures acrylic fiber precursor raw material used in production of carbon fibers and technical fibers. Zoltek de Mexico SA de CV and Zoltek de Occidente SA de CV are Mexican subsidiaries that manufacture carbon fiber and precursor raw material. Entec Composite Machines manufactures and markets filament winding and pultrusion equipment used in the production composite parts. The Company’s sales markets are in Europe and the United States. The Company has manufacturing plants in Nyergesujfalu, Hungary, Guadalajara, Mexico, Abilene, Texas and St. Charles, Missouri. Its Texas plant houses carbon fiber manufacturing lines and value-added processing capabilities. Its Missouri plant is engaged in the production of technical fibers for aircraft bra ke and other friction applications and also produces limited! amounts of carbon fibers. In addition, it has facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah where it designs and builds composite manufacturing equipment and produce resin pre-impregnated carbon fibers, called prepregs. It performs certain downstream processing, such as weaving, knitting, blending with other fibers, chopping and milling and preparation of pre-form, pre-cut stacks of fabric. In addition, its Salt Lake City-based Entec Composite Machines subsidiary designs and builds composite manufacturing equipment and markets the equipment along with manufacturing technology and materials. It also provides composite design and engineering for development of applications for carbon fiber reinforced composites.


The Company competes with Hexcel Corporation, Cytec Industries, Toray Group, Toho Tenax, Mitsubishi Chemical and SGL Carbon.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    3. Zoltek (NASDAQ: ZOLT  )
    Zoltek was an interesting investment at the beginning of the year for futurist investors. The company is one of the largest manufacturers of carbon fiber in the world. In fact, its lightweight and high-strength carbon fiber is used almost exclusively in the largest wind turbine blades around the world and played a major role in America’s 20-fold improvement in breezy energy capacity since 2000. This material of the future has many other uses and potential uses as well, but Zoltek has never really gained the confidence of the market in any big way: Its market cap was hovering near $300 million at the start of the year.

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    Shares of world-leading carbon fiber manufacturer Zoltek  (NASDAQ: ZOLT  )  have been pushed to new highs after a frantic attempt by Quinpario Partners to acquire a large position in the company. Despite being turned away by management, the fund does make valid points about the company’s general lack of progress given its global scope and potential. Investors in this business built around a game-changing material may be worrying whether shares are about to fall back to earth. In the following video, Fool.com contributor Maxx Chatsko gives at least one reason for investors to think that shares can hold their current levels — or even trek higher.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Toray Industries Inc.(3402.TO), the global market leader in carbon fiber, agreed to buy smaller rival Zoltek Cos.(ZOLT) in a deal valued at $584 million. The Japanese synthetic-fiber maker offered $16.75 a share, a 9.5% discount to Thurday’s close. Zoltek has struggled amid what it has called a cyclical downturn in the wind energy market. Zoltek shares dropped 10% to $16.58 in light premarket trading.

Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now: National Oxygen Ltd (NOL)

National Oxygen Limited (NOL) is an India-based company, which is a producer and supplier of industrial gases both in liquid and gaseous forms to industries and hospitals. Its products include oxygen, nitrogen and acetylene. The Company operates in two segments: Industrial Gases, which is engaged in the manufacture of industrial gases, and Windmill, which is engaged in the generation of windmill energy. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 (fiscal 2012), the Company produced 51,07,981 cubic meters of oxygen, 52,138 cubic meters of dissolved acetylene, 30,69,610 cubic meters of nitrogen and 26,86,762 kilowatt hours of windmill energy. It has two industrial gas plants in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, and one windmill in Maharashtra. During fiscal 2012, NOL had an installed capacity to produce 2,50,00,000 cubic meters of oxygen, 2,00,000 cubic meters of dissolved acetylene and 44,00,000 kilowatt hours of windmill energy. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Emerson]

    Another huge benefit which was imbedded in the value of RTEC was the tens of millions of net operating losses (NOL) that the company had accrued as a result of the massive accrual losses it would sustain during the credit crisis. These benefits were not reflected on the balance sheet but they would translate into tens of millions of dollars in income tax savings when the company eventually returned to profitability.

Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now: MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation (MX)

MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation designs and manufactures analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products for high-volume consumer applications. It operates in three segments: Display Solutions, Power Solutions, and Semiconductor Manufacturing Services. The Display Solutions segment offers source and gate drivers, and timing controllers that cover a range of flat panel displays used in liquid crystal displays (LCDs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), 3D and organic light emitting diode televisions and displays, notebooks, and mobile communications and entertainment devices. The Power Solutions segment develop, manufactures, and markets power management solutions, including metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors, power modules, analog switches, LED drivers, DC-DC converters, voice coil motor drivers, and linear regulators. This segment offers its products for a range of devices, including LCD, LED, 3D televisions, smartphones, mobile phones, desktop PCs, notebooks , tablet PCs, and other consumer electronics, as well as for industrial applications, such as power suppliers, LED lighting, and home appliances. The Semiconductor Manufacturing Services segment manufactures various products comprising display drivers, LED drivers, audio encoding and decoding devices, microcontrollers, touch screen controllers, RF switches, park distance control sensors for automotives, electronic tag memories, and power management semiconductors. This segment offers semiconductor manufacturing services to fabless analog and mixed-signal semiconductor companies. MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation provides its products and services to consumer electronics OEMs, subsystem designers, and contract manufacturers through a direct sales force, as well as through a network of authorized agents and distributors in the United States, Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Shares of MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp. (MX)  fell 13% to $12.50 on moderate volume after the company said it incorrectly stated revenue and has to restate its financial statements going back to 2011. Also, the company withdrew its guidance for the fourth quarter.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, consumer gadget chip maker MagnaChip Semiconductor (NYSE: MX  ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now: Stepan Co (SCL)


Stepan Company, incorporated on February 19, 1959, produces specialty and intermediate chemicals, which are sold to other manufacturers and then made into a variety of end products. The Company serves principal markets, such as manufacturers of cleaning and washing compounds (including detergents, shampoos, fabric softeners, toothpastes and household cleaners), paints, cosmetics, food and beverages, agricultural products, plastics, furniture, automotive equipment, insulation and refrigeration. The Company has three segments: surfactants, polymers and specialty products. The Company operates in the geographical regions of North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. As of December 31, 2012, the Surfactants segment accounted to 72%, Polymers segment accounted to 24% and Specialty segment accounted to 4% of the Company’s revenues. On March 22, 2012, the Company increased its controlling interest in Stepan Philippines Inc from 89% to 100%.


Surfactants

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Surfactants are used in a variety of consumer and industrial cleaning compounds as well as in agricultural products, lubricating ingredients, biodiesel and other specialized applications. The Surfactants are principal ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning products, such as detergents for washing clothes, dishes, carpets, floors and walls, as well as shampoos, body washes, toothpastes and fabric softeners. Surfactants are manufactured at six North American sites (five in the United States and one in Canada), three European sites (United Kingdom, France and Germany), and three Latin American sites (Mexico, Brazil and Colombia), and one Asian site (Philippines and Singapore). The Company also holds a 50% ownership interest in a joint venture, TIORCO, LLC (TIORCO), that markets chemical solutions for increasing the production of crude oil and natural gas from existing fields.


Polymers

Polymers generate its revenues primarily from the sal e of polyols and phthalic anhydride used in plastics, buildi! ng materials and refrigeration systems. It includes two primary product lines: polyols and phthalic anhydride. Polyols are used in the manufacture of rigid laminate insulation board for thermal insulation in the construction industry. Polyols are also a base raw material for flexible foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers.

Phthalic anhydride is used in unsaturated polyester resins, alkyd resins and plasticizers for applications in construction materials and components of automotive, boating and other consumer products. In addition, phthalic anhydride is used internally in the production of polyols. In the United States, polymer product lines are manufactured at the Company’s Millsdale, Illinois, site. In Europe, polyols are manufactured at the Company’s subsidiaries in Germany and Poland. In Asia, polyols are produced at the Company’s 80% owned joint venture in Nanjing, China.


Specialty Products

Specialty products ar e used in food, flavoring and pharmaceutical applications. It includes flavors, emulsifiers and solubilizers used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Specialty products are primarily manufactured at the Company’s Maywood, New Jersey, site.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Specialty chemical maker Stepan (SCL) raised its quarterly dividend 6% to 17 cents per share, payable on Dec. 13 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 29. This marks the 46th consecutive annual dividend increase.
    SCL Dividend Yield: 1.13%

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Stepan Company (NYSE: SCL) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $0.93 per share on revenue of $467.40 million.

    Lennox International (NYSE: LII) is projected to report its Q3 earnings at $1.28 per share on revenue of $877.87 million.

Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now: American Vanguard Corp (AVD)

American Vanguard Corporation, incorporated on January 2, 1969, operates as a holding company. The Company is primarily a chemical manufacturer that develops and markets products for agricultural and commercial uses. The Company manufactures and formulates chemicals for crops, human and animal protection. The Company conducts its business through its subsidiaries, AMVAC Chemical Corporation (AMVAC), GemChem, Inc. (GemChem), 2110 Davie Corporation (DAVIE), Quimica Amvac de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (AMVAC M), AMVAC de Costa Rica Sociedad Anonima (AMVAC CR), AMVAC Switzerland GmbH (AMVAC S), AMVAC do Brasil Representacoes Ltda (AMVAC B), AMVAC Chemical UK Ltd. (AMVAC UK), AMVAC CV (AMVAC CV), AMVAC Netherlands BV (AMVAC BV), and Envance Technologies, LLC (Envance). In July 2012, the Company completed the restructuring of the International Sales & Marketing function of its principal operating subsidiary, AMVAC Chemical Corporation. On November 30, 2012, AMVAC and TyraTech, Inc. for med Envance Technologies, LLC, in which the Company owns 60% of the equity interest. In July 2012, the Company formed AMVAC CV and AMVAC BV.


AMVAC is a chemical manufacturer that develops and markets products for agricultural and commercial uses. It manufactures and formulates chemicals for crops, human and animal health protection. These chemicals, which include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, molluscicides, growth regulators, and soil fumigants, are marketed in liquid, powder, and granular forms. AMVAC owns and/or operates the Company’s domestic manufacturing facilities and is also the parent company for all its foreign companies. DAVIE owns real estate for corporate use.

GemChem is a national chemical distributor. GemChem, in addition to purchasing key raw materials for the Company, also sells into the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutritional markets. GemChem is a wholly owned subsidiary of AVD.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of specialty chemical maker American Vanguard (NYSE: AVD  ) jumped 10% today after the company released earnings.

    So what: First-quarter revenue jumped 39% to $121.5 million and adjusted earnings per share nearly doubled to $0.59. Analysts only expected $115.4 million in revenue and earnings of $0.46 per share so the company easily beat on both the top and bottom line.  

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Margins matter. The more American Vanguard (NYSE: AVD  ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong American Vanguard’s competitive position could be.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Investors in American Vanguard (NYSE: AVD  ) will be receiving dividends twice as frequently as in the past. The company announced Monday that is has launched quarterly distributions with a $0.05-per-share payout, to be paid July 19 to shareholders of record as of July 5.

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of specialty chemical maker American Vanguard (NYSE: AVD  ) fell 17% today after cautioning about second-quarter earnings.

Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now: 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.  

Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now: LCY Chemical Corp (1704.TW)


LCY Chemical Corporation is principally engaged in the manufacture and distribution of polypropylene (PP), solvents and other chemical products. The Company provides methanol products, including methanol, formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde and dimethyl ether, among others; solvents, including ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol and methyl isobutyl ketone, as well as electronic chemical products, PP related products, thermoplastic rubber and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Its products are applied in the manufacture of resins, agricultural pesticides, catalysts, medicines, paintings, inks, artificial leather products, shoes, industrial products, electronic components, toys and electrical appliances, among others. On June 23, 2014, it acquired a certain shares of TECHNOLOGY CORP. After that, it holds 86.65% stake of LCY TECHNOLOGY CORP. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Kraton Performance Polymers Inc.’s(KRA) board is no longer pushing for the company’s stockholders to approve its plans to combine with LCY Chemical Corp.’s(1704.TW) styrenic block copolymer operations.

Hot Chemical Companies To Invest In Right Now: LyondellBasell Industries NV(LYB)

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers, refines crude oil, produces gasoline blending components, and develops and licenses technologies for production of polymers. The company?s Olefins and Polyolefins segment offers olefins, including ethylene, propylene, and butadiene; aromatics, such as benzene and toluene; polyolefins, which comprise polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and linear low-density polyethylene; specialty polyolefins, including catalloy process resins, PP compounds, and polybutene-1 resins; and ethylene derivatives, which comprise ethanol. Its Intermediates and Derivatives segment provides propylene oxide (PO); PO co-products, including styrene monomers and TBA derivative isobutylene; PO derivatives, such as propylene glycol, propylene glycol ethers, and butanediol; acetyls, such as methanol, acetic acid, and vinyl acetate monomers; ethylene derivatives, which comprise ethylene oxide , ethylene glycol, and ethylene glycol ethers; and flavor and fragrance chemicals. The company?s Refining and Oxyfuels segment offers gasoline and components, ultra low sulfur diesel, jet fuel, and lube oils; diesel, feedstock, fuel oil, gasoline, and bitumen; and gasoline blending components, including methyl tertiary butyl ether, ethyl tertiary butyl ether, and alkylate. Its Technology segment develops and licenses polyolefin and other process technologies. This segment also develops, manufactures, and sells polyolefin catalysts, as well as provides technology services, which comprise safety reviews, training and start-up assistance, engineering services for process and product improvements, and manufacturing troubleshooting. LyondellBasell Industries N.V. has operations in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. LyondellBasell Industries N.V. is a subsidiary of Prochemie GmbH.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Luke Jacobi]

    Moving opposite of technology, basic materials shares rose 0.19 percent in trading on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included DRDGOLD (NYSE: DRD), up seven percent, and LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE: LYB), up 4.3 percent.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Basic materials shares gained 0.10 percent in trading on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included DRDGOLD (NYSE: DRD), up 8.2 percent, and LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE: LYB), up 4.79 percent.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Basic materials shares gained 0.10 percent in trading on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included DRDGOLD (NYSE: DRD), up 7.4 percent, and LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE: LYB), up 4.5 percent.