Top 5 Chemical Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Shares of Barnes & Noble (BKS) were falling before the close Thursday, on news that John Malone’s Liberty Media (LMCA) is selling most of its 17% stake in the bookseller.

Liberty Media reached an agreement with Barnes & Noble to sell 90% holdings, which will result in the loss of one of its two board seats. The shares are being purchased by institutional investors, with the sale expected to close next week.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Liberty didn’t say how much it was selling the share for, but the move comes after Barnes & Noble has enjoyed a big rally, climbing 66% since February through yesterday’s close. A person close to the deal says that the price was higher than $250 million, which would give Liberty a good deal of profit, as it paid $204 million for the entire stake in 2011. It’s also been earning a fixed dividend on the preferred shares: The anonymous source pegs a return of more than20% on the investment.

Read Barron’s take on the stock from last month here.

Top 5 Chemical Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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.

Top 5 Chemical Stocks 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 John Kell]

    LyondellBasell Industries N.V.(LYB) said its fourth-quarter earnings soared 86% as the plastics and chemicals company reported better profitability across all key business segments. Results were far better than Wall Street expected, sending shares up 2.4% to $79.90 in premarket trading.

  • [By Peter Staas]

    Holland-based petrochemical outfit LyondellBasell Industries (LYB) remains the best bet for income-seeking investors to profit from persistently weak ethane prices in North America.

Top 5 Chemical Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.(POT)

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company mines and produces potash, which is used as fertilizer. It also offers solid and liquid phosphate fertilizers; animal feed supplements; and industrial acids that are used in food products and industrial processes. In addition, the company produces nitrogen fertilizers, as well as nitrogen feed and industrial products, including ammonia, urea, nitrogen solutions, ammonium nitrate, and nitric acid. Further, it holds the right to mine 785,759 acres of land in Saskatchewan; and 58,263 acres of land in New Brunswick in Canada. The company sells its fertilizers primarily to retailers, dealers, co-operatives, distributors, and other fertilizer producers; industrial products primarily to chemical product manufacturers; and purified phosphoric acid directly to consumers of the product. Potash Corporation was founded i n 1953 and is based in Saskatoon, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Reuben Brewer]

    Potash Corp. (NYSE: POT  ) had been run by Bill Doyle for about 15 years. Now, when the industry is facing an almost existential crisis, a new leader is coming in. Believe it or not, it’s a great time for Jochen Tilk to be taking over.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT) is the world’s largest integrated fertilizer and related industrial and feed products company by capacity. The company aims to be the lead supplier of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products.

  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    Analysts at Miller Tabak upgraded Potash Corp (NYSE: POT) to Neutral from Sell with a price target raised to $30 from a previous $28. Shares gained 3.13 percent, closing at $34.95.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    But the remaining non-core assets that would be available for disposition have largely been depressed, meaning they wouldn’t command as high a price on the market. The miner has attempted to create shareholder value by pursuing several large takeovers, such as its failed bids for both Rio Tinto iron ore assets in 2010 and PotashCorp (NYSE: POT  ) , both of which ran into governmental opposition. It was the failure to merge with the latter that led to BHP’s acquiring the massive Jansen deposit in Saskatchewan that created the miner’s potential fifth pillar.

Top 5 Chemical Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Calgon Carbon Corp (CCC)

Calgon Carbon Corporation is a provider of products, services, and solutions for purifying water and air. The Company operates in three reportable segments: Activated Carbon and Service, Equipment, and Consumer. The Activated Carbon and Service segment manufactures granular and powdered activated carbon for use in applications to primarily remove organic compounds from water, air and other liquids and gases. The service aspect of the segment consists of reactivation and the leasing, monitoring and maintenance of carbon adsorption equipment. The Equipment segment provides solutions to customers’ air and water purification problems through the design, fabrication, installation, and sale of equipment systems that utilize a combination of the Company’s enabling technologies: carbon adsorption, ultraviolet light (UV), Ballast Water Treatment (BWT), and advanced ion exchange separation (ISEP). The Consumer segment primarily consists of the manufacture and sale of carbon clot h. On March 31, 2011 the Company completed the acquisition of Calgon Carbon Japan KK (CCJ).

Activated Carbon and Service

The sale of activated carbon is the principle component of the Activated Carbon and Service business segment. Activated carbon is a porous material that removes organic compounds from liquids and gases by a process known as adsorption. In adsorption, unwanted organic molecules contained in a liquid or gas are attracted and bound to the surface of the pores of the activated carbon as the liquid or gas is passed through. The primary raw material used in the production of the Company’s activated carbons is bituminous coal which is crushed, sized and then processed in low temperature kilns followed by high temperature furnaces. The Company also markets activated carbons from other raw materials, including coconut shell and wood. The Company produces and sells a range of activated, impregnated or acid washed carbons in granular, powd ered or pellet form. Granular activated carbon (GAC) particl! es are irregular in shape and generally used in fixed filter beds for continuous flow purification processes.

Another component of the Activated Carbon and Service business segment are the optional services associated with supplying the Company’s products and systems required for purification, separation, concentration, taste and odor control. The Company offers a variety of treatment services at customer facilities, including carbon supply, equipment leasing, installation and demobilization, transportation and spent carbon reactivation. Other services include feasibility testing, process design, performance monitoring and maintenance of Company-owned equipment. The central component of the Company’s service business is reactivation of spent carbon and re-supply. The Company provides reactivation/recycling services in packages ranging from a 55 gallon drum to truckload quantities.

Equipment

Along with providing activated carbon pro ducts, the Company has developed a portfolio of standardized, pre-engineered, adsorption systems capable of treating liquid flows from 1 gallons per minute to 1,400 gallons per minute, which can be delivered and installed at treatment sites. These self-contained adsorption systems are used for vapor phase applications, such as volatile organic compound (VOC) control, air stripper off-gases, and landfill gas emissions. Liquid phase equipment systems are used for applications of potable water, process purification, wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation and de-chlorination. The Company produces a range of odor control equipment, which typically utilizes catalytic activated carbon to control odors at municipal wastewater treatment facilities and pumping stations. The Company’s variety of equipment systems treats the odors that emanate from municipal wastewater treatment facilities and the sewage collection systems that bring the waste to the treatment plant.

The ISEP (Ionic Separator) continuous ion exchange units ! are used ! for the purification and recovery of many products in the food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. The ISEP Continuous Separator units perform ion exchange separations using countercurrent processing. The ISEP and CSEP (chromatographic separator) systems are used at over 300 installations worldwide in more than 40 applications in industrial settings, as well as in environmental applications, including perchlorate and nitrate removal from drinking water. The Hyde GUARDIAN System was developed as a chemical-free, International Maritime Organization (IMO) type approved, ballast water management solution. The system is designed to meet the needs of ship owners to install treatment system.

Consumer

The primary product offered in the Consumer segment is carbon cloth. Carbon cloth, which is activated carbon in cloth form, is manufactured in the United Kingdom and sold to the medical, military, and specialty markets. Zorflex Activated Carbon Clo th can be used in numerous additional applications, including sensor protection; filters for ostomy bags; wound dressings; conservation of artifacts, and respiratory masks.

The Company competes with Norit, N.V., Mead/Westvaco Corporation, Siemens Water Technologies, Trojan Technologies, Inc., Xylem, Wedeco Ideal Horizons, Panasia, Alfa Lavel Tumba AB, Hyde Marine, Inc. and Wartsila.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    Calgon Carbon Corporation (CCC) is one of the largest manufacturers of activated carbon and filtration systems in the world, with activated carbon capacity of around 75,000 tons per year. That’s a good position to be in, as carbon filters are some of the most effective methods at removing chlorine, sediment and other volatile organic compounds from wastewater. They are also one of the cheapest methods for utilities to implement.

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Computacenter Plc (CCC) slipped 4.5 percent to 543 pence, its biggest drop since June. UBS AG lowered the technology-services provider to neutral from buy, citing its valuation. The shares have climbed to 13.18 times estimated earnings from 11.81 times at the end of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Top 5 Chemical Stocks To Invest 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.