Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now

NEW YORK — McDonald’s says bad weather hurt its U.S. sales performance in January, representing another setback as the fast-food chain fights to fend off rivals and get its menu right.

Company stock sank 1% to $95.01 per share in afternoon trading.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain says sales fell 3.3% at established U.S. locations last month.

MCDONALD’S: Opens in Vietnam

Its global sales figure rose 1.2%, however, lifted by improvements in Europe and the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The decline in the U.S. is just the latest disappointment for McDonald’s, which has conceded that its kitchen operations got overly complicated by the pace of new menu offerings. CEO Don Thompson also recently noted that the chain has lost some of its “relevance” with customers.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: Airgas Inc.(ARG)

Airgas, Inc., through its subsidiaries, distributes industrial, medical, and specialty gases, as well as hardgoods in the United States. The company offers various gases, including nitrogen, oxygen, argon, helium, and hydrogen; welding and fuel gases, such as acetylene, propylene, and propane; and carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, ultra high purity grades, special application blends, and process chemicals. Its hardgoods products comprise welding consumables and equipment, safety products, and construction supplies, as well as maintenance, repair, and operating supplies. The company also engages in the rental of gas cylinders, cryogenic liquid containers, bulk storage tanks, tube trailers, and welding and welding related equipment. In addition, the company manufactures and distributes liquid carbon dioxide, dry ice, nitrous oxide, ammonia, refrigerant gases, and atmospheric merchant gases. It serves repair and maintenance, industrial manufacturing, energy and infrastructure co nstruction, medical, petrochemical, food and beverage, retail and wholesale, analytical, utilities, and transportation industries. The company operates an integrated network of approximately 1100 locations, including branches, retail stores, packaged gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities, and distribution centers. Additionally, it provides retail solutions to retail customers, such as florists, grocers, restaurants and bars, tire and automotive service centers, and others. The company markets its products through multiple sales channels, including branch-based sales representatives, retail stores, strategic customer account programs, telesales, catalogs, e-business, and independent distributors. Airgas, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is based in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Airgas (NYSE: ARG) is expected to report its Q2 earnings at $1.22 per share on revenue of $1.28 billion.

    The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $1.55 per share on revenue of $21.68 billion.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: AZ Electronic Materials SA (AZEM)

AZ Electronic Materials SA is a producer and supplier of specialty chemical materials. AZ operates in four segments: IC Materials, which includes products for use in integrated circuits and devices; Optronics, which includes products used in the production of flat panel displays for use in televisions, computer monitors and similar equipment and light emitting diode technology; Printing and Other, which includes printing and similar products used in photo lithographic processes, and Corporate. The Company’s products enable the manufacture of integrated circuits (ICs) and flat panel displays (FPDs) that are integral to a range of electronic devices and applications, including computers and tablet devices, flat screen televisions, mobile communication devices, industrial and automotive applications and the developing light and energy markets. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Corinne Gretler]

    AZ Electronic (AZEM) surged 43 percent, the most since its at least November 2010, after Merck on Dec. 5 said it had agreed to buy the company for about 1.6 billion pounds. Merck added 0.4 percent. Shareholders will get 403.5 pence for each share, Merck said. The price is 53 percent above the Dec. 4 closing level in London trading.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own 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).

Top Chemical Stocks To Own 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.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own 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.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: PPG Industries Inc.(PPG)

PPG Industries, Inc. manufactures and supplies protective and decorative coatings. The company offers coatings products for automotive and commercial transport/fleet repair and refurbishing, specialty coatings for signs, and light industrial coatings; and sealants, coatings, and technical cleaners/transparencies for commercial, military, regional jet, general aviation aircraft, and transparent armor for military land vehicles. It also provides coatings and finishes for the protection of metals and structures to metal fabricators, heavy duty maintenance contractors, and manufacturers of ships, bridges, rail cars, and shipping containers; and coatings to painting and maintenance contractors. In addition, PPG sells industrial and automotive coatings to manufacturing companies; adhesives and sealants for the automotive industry; metal pretreatments and related chemicals; and coatings and inks for aerosol, food, and beverage containers. Further, it supplies lenses, sunlenses, a nd optical lens materials; amorphous precipitated silicas for tire and battery separator markets; and Teslin substrate used in radio frequency identification tags and labels, e-passports, drivers? licenses, and identification cards applications. Additionally, PPG offers chlor-alkali and derivative products, such as chlorine, caustic soda, vinyl chloride monomer, chlorinated solvents, calcium hypochlorite, ethylene dichloride, hydrochloric acid, and phosgene derivatives to chemical processing, rubber and plastics, paper, minerals, metals, and water treatment industries. It also produces flat glass and continuous-strand fiber glass for commercial and residential construction, wind energy, energy infrastructure, transportation, and electronics industries. PPG sells its products through company-owned stores, home centers, paint dealers, and independent distributors, as well as directly to customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1883 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, P e nnsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Privately held specialty-coatings producer Deft will be acquired by PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG  ) for an undisclosed sum. 

    Deft’s primary business is supplying structural primers and military topcoats to the North American aviation industry, as well as architectural and industrial coatings, though they comprise much smaller parts of its business.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $2.34 per share on revenue of $3.96 billion.

    Nucor (NYSE: NUE) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $0.39 per share on revenue of $4.78 billion.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own 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 Tomi Kilgore]

    Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan(POT) rose 0.5%, Mosaic(MOS) gained 0.1% and Intrepid Potash(IPI) climbed 0.7%. In addition, CF Industries Holdings(CF) tacked on 1.4% and Agrium(AGU.T) advanced 1.1%.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Canpotex, the cartel’s rival North American potash marketing association, comprised of Mosaic (NYSE: MOS  ) , PotashCorp (NYSE: POT  ) , and Agrium (NYSE: AGU  ) , is a major supplier of potash to Brazil, with some analysts estimating it owns 38% of the market. In years past, Latin America — primarily the Brazilian market — has comprised as much as 26% of Canpotex’s potash sales.

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    That’s certainly not good news for such agriculture stocks as fertilizer producers Potash of Saskatchewan (POT), Mosaic (MOS), and Yara International (YARIY). And it’s not good news for Deere for 2014, as a whole, either. The company lowered guidance for the quarter that ends in April to sales of $9.65 billion, versus the current Wall Street consensus of $9.89 billion. That would represent a 6% drop in sales in the quarter.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT), for instance, lost 16% last year, while Mosaic (MOS) dropped 15%, Intrepid Potash (IPI) plunged 26% and Agrium (AGU) declined 5.9%.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: OCI Partners LP (OCIP)

OCI Partners LP, incorporated on February 07, 2013, owns and operates an integrated methanol and ammonia production facility that is strategically located on the Texas Gulf Coast near Beaumont. The Company is a methanol producer in the United States with an annual methanol production capacity of approximately 730,000 metric tons and an annual ammonia production capacity of approximately 265,000 metric tons, and it is in the early stages of a debottlenecking project that increases its annual methanol production capacity by 25% to approximately 912,500 metric tons and its annual ammonia production capacity by 15% to approximately 305,000 metric tons.

Both methanol and ammonia are global commodities that are essential building blocks for numerous end-use products. Methanol is a liquid petrochemical that is used in a variety of industrial and energy-related applications. Methanol is used in industrial applications to produce adhesives used in manufacturing wood pr oducts, such as plywood, particle board and laminates, resins to treat paper and plastic products, paint and varnish removers, solvents for the textile industry and polyester fibers for clothing and carpeting. Methanol is also used outside of the United States as a direct fuel for automobile engines, as a fuel blended with gasoline and as an octane booster in reformulated gasoline. In the United States, ammonia is primarily used as a feedstock to produce nitrogen fertilizers, such as urea and ammonium sulfate, and is also directly applied to soil as a fertilizer. In addition, ammonia is widely used in industrial applications, particularly in the Texas Gulf Coast market, including in the production of plastics, synthetic fibers, resins and numerous other chemical compounds.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    OCI Partners (Nasdaq: OCIP) owns and operates OCI Beaumont, an integrated methanol and ammonia production facility on the Texas Gulf Coast. OCI Beaumont has a methanol production capacity of 730,000 metric tons (MT) per year and an ammonia production capacity of 265,000 MT per year. The facility is in the middle of a debottlenecking project that will increase its annual methanol production capacity by 25 percent and its annual ammonia production capacity by 15 percent.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Stocks on the Move: Potbelly Corp. (NASDAQ: PBPB) is up 119.1% at $30.68 after a blistering IPO at $14 a share. OCI Partners LP (NYSE: OCIP) is up 5.6% at $19.01 after an IPO at $18.00 a share. Cherry Hill Mortgage Investment Corp. (NYSE: CHMI) is down 7.6% at $18.48 following its IPO on Friday morning. Discovery Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: DSCO) is up 37.1% at $2.70 following approval of updated specifications for a drug to prevent respiratory distress in premature infants. Forest Oil Corp. (NYSE: FST) is down 9.7% at $5.74 following the sale of $1 billion worth of assets in the Texas panhandle.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: Rockwood Holdings Inc (ROC)

Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (Rockwood), incorporated in September 19, 2000, is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals and advanced materials used for industrial and commercial purposes. Rockwood is focused on surface treatment and lithium chemicals, advanced ceramics, titanium dioxide pigments, iron-oxide pigments, timber-treatment chemicals and clay-based additives. Its products consist primarily of inorganic chemicals and solutions and engineered materials. As of December 31, 2012, it manufactured its products in 80 facilities in more than twenty countries and sold its products and services to more than 60,000 customers. The Company operates in five segments: Lithium, Surface Treatment, Performance Additives, Titanium Dioxide Pigments, and Advanced Ceramics. In September 2012, its subsidiary, Chemetall GmbH, completed the formal legal split of its operations into two independent legal entities. In September 2013, Rockwood Holdings, Inc completed the sa le of CeramTec, its advanced ceramics business to Cinven. In October 2013, Rockwood Holdings Inc announced that the specialty chemicals group ALTANA completed the acquisition of the rheology business of Rockwood Holdings, Inc.

Lithium

The Company’s Lithium segment operates under the Rockwood Lithium brand name and develops lithium chemicals for a range of industries and end markets. It develops and manufactures a broad range of basic lithium compounds, including lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride, and lithium specialties and reagents, including butyllithium and lithium aluminum hydride. The Company operates its lithium business along five business divisions: Lithium Salts, Special Salts, Butyllithium/Lithium Metal, Battery Products and Lithium Specialties.

The Company develops and manufactures basic lithium compounds, which serve a range of industries and applications, and potash. Its products include lithium carb onate, lithium hydroxide, lithium nitrate, lithium chloride ! and potash. The Company develops and manufactures products which include lithium phosphate, lithium bromide and lithium carbonate pharmaceutical grade. It develops and manufactures lithium products for electronic applications, mainly for the primary (disposable) and secondary (rechargeable) battery industries. It develop and manufacture lithium compounds and other products for life science applications, such as special reagents for the synthesis of drug intermediates as well as for the flavor and fragrances industry. The Company develops and manufactures a range of products based on special metal compounds derived from cesium, zirconium, titanium, barium and rubidium.

The Company competes with FMC Corporation, Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A., Cabot Corporation, Sigma Aldrich Corporation.

Surface Treatment

The Company’s Surface Treatment segment operates under the Chemetall brand name and develops and manufactures metal surface treatment products and services for a range of industries and end markets. This segment supplies surface treatment products and solutions for metal processing industries. It develops and supplies products and solutions for the chemical pre-treatment of metals and other substrates, some of which are customized for individual customers and applications. The Company provides surface treatment products and solutions for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including an entire range of products and services for use in the paint shop step of car-body and automotive component manufacture. It provides products and services used to facilitate the cold forming of tubes, wire drawing and cold extrusion of metal.

The Company competes with Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Nihon Parkerizing Co., Ltd., PPG Industries, Inc. and Nippon Paint Co., Ltd.

Performance Additives

The Company’s Performance Additives segment consists of business lines whi ch develop and manufacture a range of specialty chemicals us! ed indust! rial and consumer products and processes. The Company produces synthetic iron-oxide and other inorganic pigments in a range of yellow, red, orange, ultramarine blue, black, manganese violet or blended shades, and serves the construction, paints and coatings, plastics, and specialty application markets with powder, granular and liquid grades. The Company develops and manufactures principally iron-oxide pigments for manufacturers of construction products for use in the coloring of concrete products, including paving stones, bricks, concrete blocks, roofing tiles, stucco and mortar.

It also develops and manufactures color pigments for the paints, coatings, plastics, paper and rubber end-use markets including its brands Ferroxide, Trans-oxide, Solaplex, Solarox and Colourplex. It produces a wide variety of pigments that include synthetic iron-oxides, corrosion inhibitor pigments, complex inorganic color pigments and process natural pigments such as burnt umbers and siennas. Its iron-oxide pigments are also used in a variety of specialty applications such as toner for printers and copiers, security inks used to print bank notes, catalysts for styrene production and cosmetics.

The Company’s Timber Treatment Chemicals business line manufactures food protection products primarily in North America and Europe. Its Timber Treatment Chemicals business also manufactures inorganic chemicals such as nitrates and chlorides for various industrial applications including chemicals that are added to concrete as curing accelerants and corrosion inhibitors, chemicals that are used for odor control in water treatment, galvanizing fluxes, micronutrients, pesticides and catalysts used in the manufacture of textile resins. The Company also develops and manufacture inorganic metallic chemicals for certain specialty markets. Its Clay-based Additives business develops and manufactures a range of specialty rheology modifiers and additives.

The Company competes with Lanxess AG, Cathay Pigment! s Group, ! Interstar Materials Inc. and Shanghai Yipin Pigments Co., Ltd., Lonza Group Ltd, Osmose, Inc., BASF Group, Kurt Obermeier GmbH & Co. KG, Rutgers AG, Elementis plc, Laviosa Chimica Mineraria S.p.A., R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc., Amcol, and Feralco AB.

Titanium Dioxide Pigments

The Company’s Titanium Dioxide Pigments segment operates under the Sachtleben brand name. Titanium Dioxide Pigments consists of two business lines: Titanium Dioxide and Functional Additives. It produces specialty grade titanium dioxide (TiO2) serving a variety of customers in the synthetic fibers, plastics, paints, packaging inks, coatings, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and paper industries. The Company also develops TiO2 pigments, which are mainly used in special applications such as selected coatings, paints, packaging inks, plastics and laminated paper production processes. Its Functional Additives business line is a global manufacturer of barium-based and zinc-based inorga nic fine white pigments and additives.

The Company competes with Fuji Titanium Industry Co., Ltd, Kronos Worldwide, Inc, DuPont Titanium Technologies, Cristal Global, Tronox Incorporated, Huntsman LLC, Tayca Corporation, Ishihara Corporation and Evonik Degussa., Solvay S.A., Gruppo Chimico Dalton S.p.A., Sakai Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.

Advanced Ceramics

The Company’s Advanced Ceramics segment operates under the CeramTec brand name. The Company produces ceramic components for hip joint prostheses, such as ball heads and inserts and ceramic glove formers latex gloves. The Company develops and manufacture products used in cutting tools, other tools and tooling systems. The Company develops and manufactures ceramic components that are used in mechanical applications and systems. Its products in mechanical applications include cutting blades, drawing and forming tools, drawing cones and capstans, guide elements, precision parts, pre-form s and friction discs. It also produces products used for app! lications! in certain niche markets, such as electrical/thermal and ceramic metal connections, pre-forms for the casting process of piston engines, mainly for diesel engines, and wear and corrosion protection in industrial plants and armor components used in vehicle protection.

The Company competes with Kyocera Corporation, CoorsTek, Inc., The Morgan Crucible Company plc and 3M.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Pato Kehoe]

    Quality video content has continuously increased in value over the past years, and this firm has a made a point of following the money trail by producing and broadcasting an ample amount of high quality products. From award winning shows like “Modern Family” or “The Simpsons,” to its popular sports programming, Twenty-First Century Fox has constantly satisfied the market’s thirst for entertainment. The News Corp (NWSA) spin-off, for one, was a highly beneficial strategy for this company, setting it apart as a pure-play entertainment firm. By concentrating resources and management on the cable network business and shaking off Rupert Murdoch’s print segment, the firm was able to boost its EBITDA growth as well as its return on capital (ROC). The current metrics of 28.80% and 154% respectively are quite impressive and will be highly beneficial for investors if they can be sustained.

  • [By Myra Ramdenbourg]

    Rockwood Holdings Inc. (ROC): Sen VP and CFO Robert J Zetta sold 32,500 Shares

    On 8/07/2013, Sen VP and CFO Robert J Zatta sold 32,500 shares at the average price of $64.92. The price of the stock has increased by 10.32% since. Rockwood Holdings Inc. has a market cap of $5.24 billion. The company’s shares were traded at around $71.62; it has a P/E ratio of 4.60 and P/S ratio of 1.24. The dividend yield of Rockwood Holdings Inc. stocks is 2.37%.

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]

    We’re seeing the exact same trading setup in shares of Rockwood Holdings (ROC) right now, only stretched out much longer term. ROC has actually spent most of 2013 stuck consolidating in an ascending triangle pattern of its own, with resistance in place at $68. Despite some attempts at pushing through that price level back in late September, ROC is still in the pattern.

    That makes $68 the price level to watch in November.

    The resistance level to watch now is at $36. A move through that price ceiling is the signal that buyers are in control of shares, and upside is a high-probability trade. Typically, rounding bottoms come into play at the bottom of a stock’s recent price action, not the top (as in MSFT’s case). But while this setup isn’t textbook, the trading implications are every bit as bullish here.

    A move through $37.50 is a signal that it’s time to be a buyer in Lions Gate, while a breakdown through $34 means that it’s time to sell.

    Whenever you’re looking at any technical price pattern, it’s critical to think in terms of those buyers and sellers. Rectangles, triangles, and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what’s going on in a stock, but they’re not the reason it’s tradable – instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.

    That $37.50 resistance level is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it’s a place where sellers have been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That’s what makes a breakout above it so significant — the move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level. Don’t be early on this trade.

  • [By Vivian Lewis]

    The other major component of the payout is return of capital (ROC), which is not taxed but added to your basis for US taxes. EXG’s 2012 distributions comprised 15% QIF and 85% ROC. It distributes monthly. Of course the makeup may change this year.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own 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 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.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: Intrepid Potash Inc (IPI)

Intrepid Potash, Inc.( Intrepid), incorporated on November 19, 2007, is a producer of muriate of potash (potassium chloride or potash) in the United States and are engaged the production and marketing of potash and langbeinite (sulfate of potash magnesia), another mineral containing potassium, magnesium, and sulfate, that is produced from langbeinite ore and as Trio when it refers to sales and marketing. Its Carlsbad assets consist of underground mining operations, which are supported by surface processing facilities. It is also operators of solar solution mining operations, as its Moab and Wendover facilities both utilize these techniques for recovering potash. Its revenues are generated from the sale of potash and Trio. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned five potash production facilities, three in New Mexico and two in Utah. Its two products are potash and langbeinite, which is marketed as Trio.

Potash

The Company derives revenues and gr oss margin are derived from the production and sales of potash. Its potash is marketed for sale into three primary markets: the agricultural market as a fertilizer, the industrial market as a component in drilling and fracturing fluids for oil and gas wells, and the animal feed market as a nutrient. Its sales of potash tend to focus on agricultural areas and feed manufacturers in central and western United States, as well as oil and gas drilling areas in the Rocky Mountains and the greater Permian Basin area.

Trio

Trio is marketed into two primary markets, the agricultural market as a fertilizer and the animal feed market as a nutrient. It markets Trio internationally through an exclusive marketing agreement with PCS Sales (USA), Inc. (PCS Sales) for sales outside the United States and Canada and through a non-exclusive agreement for sales into Mexico.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tomi Kilgore]

    Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan(POT) rose 0.5%, Mosaic(MOS) gained 0.1% and Intrepid Potash(IPI) climbed 0.7%. In addition, CF Industries Holdings(CF) tacked on 1.4% and Agrium(AGU.T) advanced 1.1%.

  • [By Mark Hulbert]

    The stocks are C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW)  , a freight-transportation company; chip maker Cirrus Logic (CRUS)  ; independent oil company Forest Oil (FST)  ; investment bank Greenhill & Co. (GHL)  ; Intrepid Potash (IPI)  , a fertilizer company; retailer J.C. Penney (JCP)  ; Quest Diagnostics (DGX)  , a medical diagnostic company; Strayer Education (STRA)  , a for-profit college; Tower Group International (TWGP)  , an insurance company; and Windstream Holdings (WIN)  , a rural telecommunications firm.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT), for instance, lost 16% last year, while Mosaic (MOS) dropped 15%, Intrepid Potash (IPI) plunged 26% and Agrium (AGU) declined 5.9%.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    We maintain our Cautious coverage view of Fertilizers, with 5% downside on average to our revised 12-month price targets. Despite recent signs of a price floor emerging, Potash (K) fundamentals remain challenged, in our view, given sustained global over-supply that lead our price forecasts to stay well below 2010-2012 over our forecast period…We downgrade shares of Mosaic to Sell, with 13% downside to our revised 12-month target, as we see an unfavorable risk/reward with shares only 8% below July 2013 levels despite a significantly less favorable K price outlook given our s/d forecasts. We also reiterate our Sell rating on [Intrepid Potash (IPI)], where we continue to see limited FCF generation in 2014- 2016 given our NA K price outlook, even giving [Intrepid Potash] credit for recent cost cutting.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: Israel Corporation Ltd (ILCO)

Israel Corporation Ltd is an Israel-based holding company. The Company operates mainly through its subsidiaries: Israel Chemicals Ltd, operating in the areas of fertilizers and special chemicals; Oil Refineries Ltd, engaged in crude oil refining, production of fuel products, raw materials for the petrochemical industry and materials for the plastics industry; ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd, operating in the shipping lines’ industry through use of tankers, offering delegation, Customs clearance, overland transport, distribution, warehousing, insurance, container terminals, marine terminal operation services and logistic services; I.C. Power Ltd, engaged in the production and sale of electricity, as well as in activities intended for the construction and operation of power stations, and Other subsidiaries, engaged in advanced technology, vehicles, infrastructures for electric-powered vehicles, and clean energy. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Claudia Maedler]

    The DFM General Index (DFMGI) climbed 4.8 percent to 2,659.93, the highest close since Aug. 26. The measure had plunged as much as 15 percent since reaching a five-year high on Aug. 25 on concern the U.S. would launch a military strike against Syria. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the stock with the biggest weighting on the index, jumped 4.7 percent, while Deyaar Development (DEYAAR) PJSC surged 9.1 percent. Israel Corp. (ILCO) led gains in Tel Aviv.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: BioAmber Inc (BIOA)

BioAmber Inc. (BioAmber), incorporated on October 15, 2008, is a chemical company. The Company manufactures its bio-succinic acid in a facility using a commercial scale 350,000 liter fermenter in Pomacle, France. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company produced 487,000 pounds, or 221 metric tons, of bio-succinic acid at this facility. Succinic acid is used to manufacture a range of products used every day, including plastics, food additives and personal care products, and can also be used as a building block for a range of derivative chemicals. The Company produces and sells bio-succinic acid using its process for petroleum-derived succinic acid. It also has additional bio-based products under development with partners including bio-succinic acid derivatives, such as BDO, and applications of bio-succinic acid, such as plasticizers, polyurethanes and de-icing solutions. During 2011, the Company created a wholly owned subsidiary, BioAmber International, S.a.r.l.

The Company develops bio-succinic acid for a range of markets, such as personal care products and food additives, plasticizers, polyurethanes, resins and coatings. The applications for bio-succinic acid include plasticizers, polyurethanes, personal care products, de-icing solutions, resins and coatings, food additives, lubricants and other products. Plasticizers are organic esters that are primarily used to make flexible polyvinyl chloride. Adipic acid is used in polyester polyols, which are used to make polyurethanes. Polyurethanes are used in, among other things, soles for footwear, molded foams for automotive applications, such as car seats and arm rests, and non-foam applications such as coatings, adhesives and sealants. Other applications of bio-succinic acid that are developed and tested by potential customers, which include anti-freeze solutions, solvents, water treatment chemicals and effervescence agents such laundry tablets and bath salts.

The Company competes with Gadiv Petrochemical Industries ! Ltd., Mitsubishi Chemical, DSM, Anqing Hexing Chemical Co Ltd, Anhui Sunsing Chemicals Co., Ltd., Genomatica, Inc., Myriant Corporation and Roquette Freres S.A.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matt Jarzemsky]

    Out of the 2013 vintage, some of the best performers so far this year have been early-stage healthcare firms like BioAmber Inc.(BIOA), up 86% year-to-date through Thursday, and Kindred Biosciences Inc.(KIN), up 82%. A number of high-flying tech startups have also continued to soar. Cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc.(FEYE) has gained 67% since the start of the year. Online coupon company RetailMeNot Inc.(SALE) is up 48%.

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    He believes several companies have set the bar precipitously low to start the year despite targeted developments expected to occur before the start of 2014. Watch the following video for his thoughts on potential positive surprises awaiting investors in Amyris  (NASDAQ: AMRS  ) , BioAmber  (NYSE: BIOA  ) , Codexis  (NASDAQ: CDXS  ) , and Solazyme  (NASDAQ: SZYM  ) .

  • [By Markus Aarnio]

    BioAmber (BIOA) is a sustainable chemicals company. Its proprietary technology platform combines industrial biotechnology and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstock into chemicals for use in a wide variety of everyday products including plastics, resins, food additives and personal care products.

Top Chemical Stocks To Own Right Now: ICL Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL)

ICL Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL) is an Israel-based company, engaged in the fertilizer and specialty chemical sectors. The company operates in three segments: Fertilizers, Industrial Products, and Performance Products. The Fertilizers segment is engaged in the production of standard, granular, fine red and white potash from three sources, as well as in the production of phosphates, such as phosphate rock, phosphoric acid, fertilizers and animal feed addictives. The Industrial Products segment produces flame retardants, such as brominates and organ phosphorus; elemental bromine, and other chemicals. In addition the Performance Products segment produces specialty phosphates, such as technical, food grade and electronic grade phosphoric acid, phosphate salts, food additives and wildfire safety products, as well as alumina and other chemicals. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Gwen Ackerman]

    Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL), the fourth-largest potash producer in the world by sales, is weighing on the Tel Aviv benchmark stock index on concern the government will exact higher royalties amid a global oversupply.

  • [By Claudia Maedler]

    In Israel, the TA-25 Index (TA-25) gained 1.9 percent at the close in Tel Aviv as Israel Corp. jumped 9 percent, the most since July 2009, to 1,755 shekels. The shares soared along with those of its Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) unit, which advanced 6.4 percent on speculation that a possible change in ownership of Russian potash producer OAO Uralkali could help stabilize prices of the crop nutrient.