Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now

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Buffett Auctions Personal Tour of See’s Candy Factory

U.S. Steel Posts Second Quarterly Loss in a Row

Goodyear Reaches Contract Agreement with Steelworkers

Intuitive Surgical Increases Buybacks to $1.5 Billion

Caterpillar Launches $1 Billion Accelerated Buyback Plan

Pfizer to Provide Prevenar 13 Vaccine for Reduced Cost in Poor Countries

Freddie Mac Picks U.S. Bank as Agent for New Debt Notes

Pitney Bowes Keeps a Steady Dividend

Oshkosh Earnings Surge

Corning Earnings Beat Estimates

Boeing Expands Inspections of Emergency Locator Beacons

FDA Gives Priority Review to Depomed, Mallinckrodt Painkiller

OfficeMax, Office Depot Say Merger on Track

Consumer Confidence Dips 2.2% for July

Appeals Court: NYC’s Soda Rules Go Too Far

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own 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.  

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: Axiall Corp (AXLL)

Axiall Corporation (Axiall), formerly Georgia Gulf Corporation, incorporated on April 16, 1984, is a manufacturer and an international marketer of chlorovinyl and aromatic chemicals and also manufacture and market vinyl-based building and home improvement products. The Company operates in three business segments: Chlorovinyls segment consists of two product groups: Electrovinyls products, which are composed of chlorine, caustic soda, ethylene dichloride (EDC), vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), and vinyl resins; and Compound products, which are composed of vinyl compounds, compound additives and plasticizers; Building Products segment consists of two primary product groups: Window and Door Profiles and Mouldings, and Outdoor Building Products, which consists of siding, pipe and pipe fittings and deck, fence and rail products, and Aromatics segment also contains two commodity chemical product groups: cumene; and phenol and acetone. In January 2013, the combined company formed by uniting Georgia Gulf with PPG’s former commodity chemicals business is named Axiall Corporation.

Chlorovinyls segment

The chlorovinyls segment consists of an integrated chain of products, which including chlor-alkali and derivative products (chlorine, caustic soda, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), vinyl resins, ethylene dichloride, chlorinated solvents, calcium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid and phosgene derivatives and compound products (vinyl compounds and compound additives and plasticizers). In North America, the Company is one of the producers of VCM, vinyl resins, and vinyl compounds.

During the year ended December 31, 2012, approximately 45%t of its vinyl resins production was sold into the United States and Canadian merchant markets where its vinyl resins were used in a variety of flexible and rigid vinyl end-use applications. During 2012, the largest end-uses of its products were for pipe and pipe fittings, siding, extruded shee t and film and window profiles. Approximately 24% of its pro! duction was sold into the export market, and approximately 31% of its vinyl resins were used internally in the manufacture of its vinyl compounds and vinyl building products. During 2012, the Company used substantially all of its VCM production in the manufacture of vinyl resins in its PVC manufacturing operations. The Company sells all of its caustic soda to customers domestically and overseas in numerous industries, with the pulp and paper, chemical and alumina industries constituting its markets. Other markets for its caustic soda include soap and detergents and the water treatment industries.

Vinyl compounds are highly customized formulations that offer specific end-use properties based on customer-determined manufacturing specifications that enable its customers to utilize them directly in their manufacturing processes to fabricate their finished products. The Company produces flexible and rigid compounds, which are used in many different applications, inc luding wire and cable insulation and jacketing, electrical outlet boxes and pipe fittings, window and furniture profiles and food-grade and general-purpose bottles. It also supplies chlorinated vinyl compounds (CPVC), to the extrusion and injection molding markets, mainly for production of hot water pipe and pipe fittings. The Company produces lubricants, stabilizers, impact modifiers and process aids used in the production of compounds, and which are part of the typical compound formulations. The majority of its additives and plasticizers are consumed internally.

Building Products Segment

The Window and Door Profiles and Mouldings Products have a level of customization based on customer specifications, whereas Outdoor Building Products are based more on industry standards. The Company manufactures and extrude vinyl window profiles, including frames, sashes, trim and other components, as well as vinyl patio door components and fabricated patio doors , which are sold primarily to window and door fabricators. I! ts sales ! are primarily to the custom segment of the vinyl window profile market with the profile design customized to a window fabricator’s specific requirements. It manufactures and markets extruded decorative mouldings and millwork. Its decorative trim products are used for interior mouldings, such as crown, base and chair rail. For exterior mouldings, its products are used in applications, such as brick mouldings, and as components used in the fabrication of doors, windows and spas. This product line includes a series of offerings, such as bendable trim and paintable/stainable trim.

The Company’s outdoor building products (OBP) include siding; pipe and pipe fittings; and deck, fence, and rail. It manufactures vinyl siding, and it also offers a range of accessories, including vinyl soffit, aluminum soffit, fascia and trim and molded vent mounts and exterior shutters. These additional product offerings to its existing offerings include rich, dark, color-fast shades, a s well as a siding system, which enables siding panels to withstand harsh wind conditions. It manufactures pipe and pipe fittings for the municipal and electrical markets, as well as pipe for plumbing applications. Its municipal pipe and pipe fittings product lines are used in potable water applications, as well as in storm and sewer applications. Its plumbing lines are used in residential and industrial applications to move storm and sanitary wastewater from the building to the municipal sewer at the property line. This product line is focused on at drain, waste and vent applications. Electrical, pipe, conduit and fittings are available in a range of sizes and configurations, to meet the needs of both commercial and residential applications.

The Company manufactures vinyl deck products that are sold by distributors and used primarily by professionally installed market segments. The Company’s deck product lines are positioned as a lower-maintenance alternativ e to conventional wood products.

Aromatics Seg! ment

The aromatics segment is integrated and consists of cumene and phenol/acetone products. Phenol/acetone products are co-products made from cumene in the same production process. The Company’s aromatic products are primarily commodity based products. It operates cumene plant located in Pasadena, Texas. About 28 % of its cumene was consumed internally, during 2012, to produce phenol and acetone. Cumene is used as an intermediate to make phenol and acetone and specialty chemicals and can be sold as an additive for gasoline blending.

Phenol is sold to a base of customers who are producers of a range of phenolic resins, engineering plastics and specialty chemicals. Phenolic resins are used as adhesives for wood products, such as plywood and Oriented Strand Board (OSB). Engineering plastics are used in compact discs, digital video discs, automobiles, household appliances, electronics and protective coating applications. It also sells phenol for use in insul ation, electrical parts, oil additives and chemical intermediates. Acetone is a chemical used primarily in the production of acrylic resins, engineering plastics and industrial solvents. The Company sells the majority of its acetone into the acrylic resins market, where it is used in the manufacture of various plastics and coatings used for signage, automotive parts, household appliances, paints and industrial coatings. Other uses range from solvents for automotive and industrial applications to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    In trading on Thursday, basic materials shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 1.20 percent. Among the leading sector stocks, gains came from Axiall (NYSE: AXLL), Materion (NYSE: MTRN), Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) and Joy Global (NYSE: JOY).

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    In trading on Thursday, basic materials shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 1.20 percent. Among the leading sector stocks, gains came from Axiall (NYSE: AXLL), Materion (NYSE: MTRN), Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) and Joy Global (NYSE: JOY).

  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    Dow isn’t the only chemical play gaining on the news.  Axiall (AXLL) rose 9.3% to $49.58 in Monday market action. Olin (OLN) rose 6.1% to $26.36. And Westlake Chemical (WLK) rose 2.2% to $115.10.

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: 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

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: Eastman Chemical Company (EMN)

Eastman Chemical Company, a chemical company, engages in the manufacture and sale of chemicals, plastics, and fibers in the United States and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Coatings, Adhesives, Specialty Polymers, and Inks (CASPI); Fibers; Performance Chemicals and Intermediates (PCI); and Specialty Plastics. The CASPI segment manufactures resins, specialty polymers, and solvents that are used in the production of paints and coatings, inks, adhesives, and other formulated products. The Fibers segment offers Estron acetate tow and Estrobond triacetin plasticizers used in cigarette filters; Estron natural and Chromspun solution-dyed acetate yarns for use in apparel, home furnishings, and industrial fabrics; and cellulose acetate flake and acetyl raw materials for acetate fiber producers. The PCI segment offers intermediates; performance chemicals; and complex organic molecules, such as diketene derivatives, specialty ketones, and specialty anhydrides for medical, pharmaceutical, fiber, and food and beverage ingredients, which are used in specialty market applications. This segment?s products are used in various markets and end uses, including agriculture, transportation, beverages, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, coatings, medical devices, toys, adhesives, household products, polymers, textiles, and consumer and industrial products, as well as used for health and wellness uses. The Specialty Plastics segment primarily offers engineering and specialty polymers, specialty film and sheet products, and packaging film and fiber products. This segment?s products include specialty copolyesters and cellulosic plastics, which are used in specialty packaging, in-store fixtures and displays, consumer and durable goods, medical goods, personal care and consumer packaging, photographic film, optical film, fibers/nonwovens, tapes/labels, and LCD?s. The company was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva] e exception. The firm has made an emphasis on its acetate tow production, mainly used for cigarettes. The company stands out for using coal as its input, in contrast with other competitors using petroleum and gas, both more expensive for production. This mark up has allowed Eastman to transfer some of its increasing costs onto prices,  without compromising its sales revenue.

    In addition to this, the acquisition of Solutia Inc. (former global leader in performance materials) completed on July 2, 2012, broadened Eastman’s specialty chemicals output by adding automotive and solar end products to its portfolio.

    Although Eastman is a highly diversified company, it has proven to be severely affected by negative cycles of the economy. Even though this feature is not appealing whatsoever to investments, it certainly has caused it to become a cheap alternative. And, a quite promising one, since the economic recovery boosted its revenue, as a result of Eastman’s focus on cost-advantage production methods.

    Other specialty chemical competitors, such as Ashland Incorporated (ASH) didn’t show such a promising comeback, and the drop in revenue during 2012 was anticipated by investor Jean-Marie Eveillard (Trades, Portfolio), who sold out his 3.9 million share position by the third quarter of that year.

    Another industry giant, Huntsman Corporation (HUN) did show more promising results, and less volatile revenues during these last years. This, of course, has led to a high price to earnings ratio discouraging investors as we see later.

    Geographically Diversified

    On 2012, almost 50% of Eastman sales were generated in North America, while more than 25% were in Asia and 20% in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This diversification is to be taken into account since it guarantees long-term revenue, even if cigarette consumption decreases in some specific region (for instance, American sales declined  in recent years),

  • [By Michael A. Robinson]

    Today, Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) ranks as an industry leader with a $12 billion market cap and whose stock is up 350% over the past five years, not counting the 1.5% dividend.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Eastman Chemical Co.’s(EMN) third-quarter earnings surged as the diversified chemical and materials producer reported sales growth as well as fewer charges related to its acquisition of Solutia Inc. last year. But it lowered its earnings estimate for the year on expectations it will continue to face challenges in its adhesives and plasticizers business, as well as higher raw-materials and energy costs. Shares dropped.

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: Arkema SA (AKE)

Arkema SA is a France-based company which specializes in the manufacture and marketing of chemical products. The Company operates through its two business segments: Industrial Chemicals and Performance Products. The Industrial Chemicals division offers the production of acrylics, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), hydrogen peroxide, fluorochemicals and thiochemicals, and includes such brands as Forane, Albone, Norsocryl, Altuglas and Sarbio. The Performance Products include the production of technical polymers, specialty chemicals and functional additives. The Company’s products are used in the construction, automotive and transportation, health, electrical and electronics, agricultural and packaging industries, among others. In April 2013, it acquired a majority stake in AEC Polymers. In October 2013, it inaugurated the new Sumitomo Seika superabsorbent plant on the Carling site, which makes the overall superabsorbent production capacity of the Carling facility up to 47,000 ton /year. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Arkema SA (AKE) added 4.7 percent to 83.93 euros. UBS AG raised its rating on the French chemicals maker to a buy from neutral, saying the stock is undervalued. The firm also boosted its price target to 100 euros from 80 euros.

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: Olin Corp (OLN)

Olin Corporation, incorporated on August 13, 1892, is a manufacturer focused in three business segments: Chlor Alkali Products, Chemical Distribution and Winchester. Chlor Alkali Products manufactures and sells chlorine and caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, bleach products and potassium hydroxide. Chemical Distribution manufactures bleach products and distributes caustic soda, bleach products, potassium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. Winchester products include sporting ammunition, reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and industrial cartridges. On August 22, 2012, the Company acquired K. A. Steel Chemicals Inc. (KA Steel). KA Steel is a distributor of caustic soda in North America and manufactures and sells bleach in the Midwest.

The Company’s subsidiary, Olin Canada ULC, operates one chlor alkali facility in Becancour, Quebec, which sells chlor alkali-related products within Canada and to the United States and als o sells and distributes ammunition within Canada. The Company’s subsidiary, Winchester Australia Limited, loads and packs sporting and industrial ammunition in Australia.

Chlor Alkali Products

The Company is engaged in the United States chlor alkali industry. Chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen are co-produced commercially by the electrolysis of salt. These co-products are produced simultaneously, and in a fixed ratio of one ton of chlorine to 1.1 tons of caustic soda and 0.03 tons of hydrogen. The Company also manufactures and sells other chlor alkali-related products. These products include chemically processed salt, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite (bleach), hydrogen, and potassium hydroxide. The Company refers to these other chlor alkali-related products as co-products. During the year ended December 31, 2012, sales of co-products represented approximately 32% of Chlor Alkali Products’ sales.

The Company’s chlorine/caustic s oda products are used in pulp and paper processing, chemical! manufacturing, water purification, manufacture of vinyl chloride, bleach, swimming pool chemicals and urethane chemicals. Its sodium hypochlorite are used in household cleaners, laundry bleaching, swimming pool sanitizers, semiconductors, water treatment, textiles, pulp and paper, and food processing. Its hydrochloric acid are used in steel, oil and gas, plastics, organic chemical synthesis, water and wastewater treatment, brine treatment, artificial sweeteners, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and ore and mineral processing. Its potassium hydroxide is used in fertilizer manufacturing, soaps, detergents and cleaners, battery manufacturing, food processing chemicals and deicers. Its hydrogen is used in fuel source, hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid.

The Company competes with Dow Chemical Company and the Occidental Chemical Corporation.

Chemical Distribution

The Company’s KA Steel comprises the Chemical Distribution segment. KA S teel is a distributor of caustic soda in North America and manufacturers and sells bleach in the Midwest. KA Steel also sells small quantities of potassium hydroxide and maintains infrastructure to be, a distributor of hydrochloric acid.

The Company competes with Univar Inc. and Brenntag AG.

Winchester

Winchester is a developer and manufacturer of small caliber ammunition for sale to domestic and international retailers (commercial customers), law enforcement agencies and domestic and international militaries. The Company’s Winchester product line includes gauges and calibers of shotgun shells, rimfire and centerfire ammunition for pistols and rifles, reloading components and industrial cartridges. Its Winchester sporting ammunition, which include shot-shells, small caliber centerfire and rimfire ammunition, are used by hunters and recreational shooters, and law enforcement agencies. Its small caliber military ammunition are used in in fantry and mounted weapons. Its industrial products, which i! nclude ei! ght gauge loads & powder-actuated tool loads, are used in maintenance applications in power and concrete industries and powder-actuated tools in construction industry.

The Company competes with Alliant Techsystems Inc. and Remington Arms Company, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    The company has a current ratio of 17.8% which is higher than the industry mean of 6.55%. Also, it’s higher than the one registered by Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY), Cabot Corporation (CBT) and Olin Corporation (OLN). For investors looking for a higher ROE, PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) could be the option.

  • [By James Brumley]

    Those seeking to capitalize on the now-waning firearm craze may be better off looking at ammunition makers like Olin Corporation (OLN). It got its own mania-driven sales bump in Q3, as owners of newly-purchased guns stocked up on bullets. But, at least there’s relatively stable recurring revenue in the ammo business, assuming all these recent gun buyers make occasional visits to the shooting range.

  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    Dow isn’t the only chemical play gaining on the news.  Axiall (AXLL) rose 9.3% to $49.58 in Monday market action. Olin (OLN) rose 6.1% to $26.36. And Westlake Chemical (WLK) rose 2.2% to $115.10.

  • [By Steve Symington]

    Meanwhile, Winchester ammunition manufacturer Olin (NYSE: OLN  ) has benefited from a relentless upward trend in ammunition purchases, which it says began the Saturday before Election Day. As of the company’s most recent quarterly results, Olin management bluntly stated that the demand has only been “limited by product availability.” 

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: Incitec Pivot Ltd (ICPVY)

Incitec Pivot Limited is engaged in the manufacture, trading and distribution of fertilizers, industrial explosives, and chemicals. It operates in two segments: fertilizers, which include Incitec Pivot Fertilisers(IPF), Southern Cross International (SCI), and Fertilisers Elimination (Elim) and explosives, which includes Dyno Nobel Americas (DNA), Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific (DNAP), and Explosives Eliminations (Elim). IPF manufactures products, such as urea, ammonia and single super phosphate. DNA manufactures and sells industrial explosives and related products and services to the mining, quarrying and construction industries and also manufactures agricultural chemicals. SCI manufactures ammonium phosphates and distributes manufactured fertilizer product to wholesaler. DNAP manufactures industrial explosives and related products and services to the mining industry in the Asia Pacific region. In December 2011, it acquired a 49% interest in Maine Drilling Group. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks fell early Wednesday, tracking a weak lead from the U.S. but with a few blue-chip miners higher after gains for some commodities overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) retreated 0.4% to 5,237.80 after similar losses for the main Wall Street indexes, with the Australian benchmark trading around its lowest level since October. Among the major decliners, Qantas Airways Ltd. (AU:QAN) (QUBSF) lost 2.5%, Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (AU:HVN) (HNORY) gave up 1.3%, and Incitec Pivot Ltd. (AU:IPL) (ICPVY) fell 1.8%. Santos Ltd. (AU:STO) (STOSF) fell 2.6% on indication it will miss its lowered production guidance for 2013, according to the Australian Financial Review. On the upside, top miners BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) and Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) rose 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively, while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) traded 1% higher. Shares of global shopping-mall developer Westfield Group Australia (AU:WDC) (WEFIF) were on halt

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: Uralkaliy OAO (URALL.PK)

Uralkaliy OAO (Uralkali OJSC) is a Russia-based company, which is engaged in the chemical industry. The Company specializes in the production of potash fertilizers. Its product portfolio comprises pink muriate of potash (PMOP), white muriate of potash (WMOP) and granular (GMOP). The Company is active through representative offices, located in Moscow and Beijing, as well as numerous subsidiaries, located countrywide and in Panama, Belarus, Singapore, Brazil and others. Uralkaliy OAO operates on the potassium and magnesium deposits located in Berezniki, Perm and Saint Petersburg. Its production assets include seven plants and five mines. Uralkaliy OAO sells its products domestically, as well as abroad in over 40 countries, including the United States, China, Brazil, India and South-East Asia, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Gallagher]

    The potash spat continues to get uglier, as Belarus investigators reportedly intend to seize property and assets of Russia’s Uralkali (URALL.PK) following the collapse of the joint Russian-Belarussian potash venture.

  • [By Chris Damas]

    This morning Russian potash giant OJSC Uralkali (URALL.PK) presented first half 2013 financial and operating results and more importantly, much anticipated comments on the strategy of the company and the state of the international potash industry, the latter blind-sided by the leading potash company’s split with marketing partner JSC Belaruskali of Belarus.

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: Sigma-Aldrich Corp (SIAL)

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, incorporated in May 12, 1975, is a life science and high technology company. The Company develops, manufactures, purchases and distributes the range of chemicals, biochemicals and equipment available globally and also provides global biopharmaceutical testing services. These chemical products, kits and services are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and other high technology manufacturing. As of December 31, 2012, the Company offered approximately 45,000 equipment products. On January 31, 2012, the Company completed its acquisition of all of interest of BioReliance, a provider of global biopharmaceutical testing services. On April 2, 2012, the Company acquired Research Organics, a supplier of purity biochemicals.

The Company provides products and services that focus on research customers that use smaller q uantities of its products in basic life science and high-technology research and development (R&D); manufacturing customers that use its products in quantities in lab-stage development and manufacturing; life science customers who use its biopharmaceutical testing services to facilitate the development, manufacturing and commercialization of biological drugs, and industrial and diagnostic companies that use its products in range of forms of assays and testing, as well as in clinical diagnostics. The Company has a customer base of commercial laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, industrial companies, universities, diagnostics companies, biotechnology companies, electronics companies, hospitals, governmental institutions and non-profit organizations located in the United States and globally.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    Any company that creates products and relies on other companies to use and distribute them will inevitably forge strong relationships with its customers. It’s an important thing to look into when investing, yet easy to overlook. Investors should know whether customers are reliable, which are leaned on the most, and if the company they own is too dependent on any customer (or a select few). Bioprocessing product company Repligen (NASDAQ: RGEN  ) may make consumables that are the lifeline of the biotech industry, but its customer relationships are absolutely critical for smooth operations. Let’s look at how the company interacts with the Life Sciences division of General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) , EMD Millipore from Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) , and Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ: SIAL  ) — the three most important customers.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ: SIAL) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $0.99 per share on revenue of $661.29 million.

    CR Bard (NYSE: BCR) is projected to post its Q3 earnings at $1.40 per share on revenue of $739.62 million.

  • [By Nicole Seghetti]

    2. Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ: SIAL  )
    Maker of test tubes and beakers, Sigma-Aldrich has increased its dividend every year since 1976. Even though the company pays a relatively scrawny 1.1% dividend yield, its 21% payout ratio signals the company has ample opportunity to up its dividend for many years to come.

Top 10 Chemical Companies To Own In Right Now: Albemarle Corp (ALB)

Albemarle Corporation (Albemarle), incorporated in 1993, is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals, which meet customer needs across a range of end markets, including the petroleum refining, consumer electronics, plastics/packaging, construction, automotive, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services markets. As of December 31, 2011, the Company and its joint ventures operated 50 facilities, encompassing production, research and development facilities, and administrative and sales offices in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia. It serves approximately 3,000 customers in over 100 countries. It operates in three segments: Polymer Solutions, Catalysts and Fine Chemistry. On May 11, 2011, the Company acquired Catilin Inc. In October 2013, Albemarle Corp acquired Cambridge Chemical Co Ltd.

Polymer Solutions

The Company’s Polymer Solutions seg ment consists of two product market categories: flame retardants and stabilizers and curatives. Its products include plastic enclosures for consumer electronics, printed circuit boards, wire and cable, electrical connectors, textiles, foam insulation, and foam seating in furniture and automobiles. Its brominated flame retardants include products such as Saytex; its mineral-based flame retardants include products, such as Martinal and Magnifin, and its phosphorus-based flame retardants include products, such as Antiblaze and Ncendx.

The Company produces plastic additives, as well as other additives, such as curatives, antioxidants and stabilizers. Its additives products include curatives for polyurethane, polyurea, and epoxy system polymerization. This business also produces antioxidants and stabilizers. Its Ethacure curatives are used in cast elastomers, coatings, reaction injection molding (RIM) and specialty adhesives, which are incorporated into products, su ch as wheels, tires and rollers. Its line of Ethanox antioxi! dants is used by manufacturers of polyolefins to maintain physical properties during the manufacturing process, including the color of the final product. These antioxidants are found in applications, such as slit film, wire and cable, food packaging and pipes.

The Company produces antioxidants used in fuels and lubricants. Its line of Ethanox fuel and lubricant antioxidants is used by refiners and fuel marketers to extend fuel storage life and protect fuel systems, and by oil marketers and lubricant manufacturers to extend the useful life of lubricating oils, fluids and greases used in engines and various types of machinery. Its polymer solutions segment offers more than 80 products to a range of end-markets. It sells its products to chemical manufacturers and processors, such as polymer resin suppliers, lubricant manufacturers, refiners and other specialty chemical companies.

The Company competes with Chemtura Corporation, Israel Chemicals Ltd, Jia ngsu Yoke Technology Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Wansheng Chemical Co., Ltd., J.M. Huber Corporation, Kyowa Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Nabaltec GmbH, BASF Corporation, Chemtura Corporation and Songwon Industrial Co., Ltd.,

Catalysts

The Company’s Catalysts segment includes its refinery catalysts and catalyst solutions businesses. Its main refinery catalysts product lines are hydroprocessing catalysts (HPC), and fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC), catalysts and additives. HPC catalysts are used to reduce the quantity of sulfur and other impurities in petroleum products, as well as to convert feedstock into lighter products. FCC catalysts assist in the cracking of petroleum streams into derivative, higher-value products, such as fuels and petrochemical feedstock. Its FCC additives are used to remove sulfur in gasoline and to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide in FCC units. It offers approximately 130 different HPC catalysts products an d approximately 40 different FCC catalysts and additives pro! ducts to ! its customers.

The Company has three business units in its performance catalyst solutions (PCS) division: polymer catalysts, chemical catalysts and electronic materials. It manufactures organometallic co-catalysts, as well as metallocene components and co-catalysts. It also offers finished Single-Site catalysts with or without its ActivCat technology and a range of Ziegler-Natta catalysts under the Advantage brand. Its co-catalysts and finished catalysts are used in its customers’ production of polyolefin polymers. Such polymers are commodity (Ziegler Natta polymerization technology) and specialty (Single Site polymerization technology) plastics serving a range of end markets, including packaging, non-packaging, films and injection molding. Some of its organometallic products are also used in the manufacture of alpha-olefins (hexene, octane and decene). In electronic materials, it manufacture and sells metal organic products into electronic applications, such as the production of light emitting diodes (LEDs) for displays and general lighting, as well as other products used in the production of solar cells. Its chemical catalysts include a range of catalysts used in the chemical industry.

The Company competes with Criterion Catalysts and Technologies, W.R. Grace & Co./Advanced Refining Technologies, Haldor Topsoe, W.R. Grace & Co., BASF Corporation, AkzoNobel and Chemtura Corporation.

Fine Chemistry

The Company’s Fine Chemistry segment consists of two categories: performance chemicals, and fine chemistry services and intermediates. Performance chemicals include products, such as elemental bromine, alkyl bromides, inorganic bromides, brominated powdered activated carbon and a range of bromine fine chemicals. Its products are used in chemical synthesis, oil and gas well drilling and completion fluids, mercury control, paper manufacturing, water purification, beef and poultry processing and ot her industrial applications. Other performance chemicals, wh! ich it pr! oduces include tertiary amines for surfactants, biocides, disinfectants and sanitizers; potassium-based products used in industrial applications; alkenyl succinic anhydride used in paper-sizing formulations, and aluminum oxides used in a range of refractory, ceramic and polishing applications. It sells these products to customers globally for use in personal care products, automotive insulation, foundry bricks and other industrial products.

The Company’s fine chemistry services business offers custom manufacturing, research and chemical scale-up services for companies. Its pharmaceutical bulk active is ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is used to provide pain relief and fever reduction. Bulk ibuprofen is formulated by pharmaceutical companies, which sells in both the prescription and over-the-counter markets. The Company also produces a range of intermediates used in the manufacture of a range of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

The Company’s agrich emicals are sold to agrichemical manufacturers and distributors, which produce and distribute finished agricultural herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and soil fumigants. Its products include orthoalkylated anilines used in the acetanilide family of pre-emergent herbicides used with corn, soybeans and other crops and methyl bromide, which is used as a soil fumigant. It also manufactures and supplies a range of custom chemical intermediates for the agricultural industry.

The Company competes with Chemtura Corporation, Israel Chemicals, BASF Corporation, Lonza, Clariant Ltd. and Cilag AG.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Specialty chemicals developer, manufacturer and distributor Albemarle (ALB) raised its quarterly dividend 15% to 27.5 cents per share, payable April 1 to shareholders of record as of March 14.
    ALB Dividend Yield: 1.66%

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    If you’re looking for some trading action, then Organovo Holdings Inc. (NYSEMKT:ONVO) and Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) are the two top names to put on your radar today. Granted, they’re trading candidates for completely opposing reasons. In fact, the best “play” may be to swap one for the other. However you want to play it though, here’s what you need to know about ALB and ONVO.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Specialty chemicals maker Albemarle  (NYSE: ALB  )  announced yesterday a second-quarter dividend in the amount of $0.24 per share, the same rate it paid in February after having raised it from $0.20 per share in the prior quarter.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Specialty chemicals maker Albemarle (NYSE: ALB  ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.24 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past two quarters after raising the payout 20% from $0.20 per share.