Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015

Early on Friday, The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to divest its global Polypropylene Licensing & Catalysts business to W.R. Grace & Co. for a sale price of $500 million.

Dow had previously announced its plans to divest the business in March 2013, as part of its plan to be proactive in its commitment to divest nearly $1.5 billion in assets by mid to late 2014.

The proceeds from the sale will go to pay to shareholders, reduce debt, and fund growth. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2013.

“Today’s announcement is another clear demonstration of Dow’s rigorous focus on selectively shifting our portfolio away from assets that are no longer a strategic fit and optimizing their value,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Our accelerated strategy is focused on narrowing our market participation and preferentially funding our select growth businesses with strong competitive positions in attractive markets such as electronics, water, packaging and agricultural sciences. We are planning further proactive divestments in the next 12 months in our relentless pursuit of rewarding shareholders.”

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: 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 Watch For 2015: Celanese Corporation (CE)

Celanese Corporation, a technology and specialty materials company, engages in manufacture and sale of value-added chemicals, thermoplastic polymers, and other chemical-based products. It operates through four business segments: Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties, and Acetyl Intermediates. The Advanced Engineered Materials segment offers specialty polymers for application in automotive, medical, and electronics products, as well as other consumer and industrial applications. The Consumer Specialties segment provides cellulose acetate flake, film, and tow that are primarily used in filter products applications; Sunett, a sweetener; and food protection ingredients, such as sorbates and sorbic acid for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. The Industrial Specialties segment produces emulsions and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) performance polymers. Its emulsions products are used in applications, such as paints and coatings, adhesives, construction, glass fiber, textiles, and paper; and EVA performance polymers are used in flexible packaging films, lamination film products, hot melt adhesives, medical products, automotive, carpeting and photovoltaic cells. The Acetyl Intermediates segment offers acetyl products, including acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer, acetic anhydride, and acetate esters for use as starting materials for colorants, paints, adhesives, coatings, and medicines. It also provides organic solvents and intermediates for pharmaceutical, agricultural, and chemical products. The company offers its products directly, as well as through distributors and electronic marketplaces in North America, Europe, Africa, the Asia-Pacific, and South America. Celanese Corporation was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Magic Diligence]

    Given this fact, and the fact that consumer electronics (CE) is a cyclical industry, flash supply and demand balance is very tenuous. Frantic production to catch up to demand often leads to dramatic over-supply when the CE market cools off. One needs only to look at SanDisk’s financials to see this. The company swung from a $917 dollar operations loss in 2008 to a $1.5 billion dollar profit in 2011, and which was then cut in half to just a $700 million profit the following year!

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Celanese (NYSE: CE) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $1.04 per share on revenue of $1.59 billion.

    Posted-In: Earnings scheduleEarnings News Pre-Market Outlook Markets

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of chemical maker Celanese (NYSE: CE  ) jumped as much as 16% today after the company released earnings.

    So what: Revenue fell slightly in the first quarter, to $1.61 billion, but adjusted earnings per share jumped 44%, to $1.14. Revenue was in line with expectations, and earnings crushed the $0.79 that analysts expected. 

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: Rentech Nitrogen Partners LP (RNF)

Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P. is a provider of clean energy solutions and nitrogen fertilizer, to own, operate and grow its nitrogen fertilizer business. The Company primarily produces anhydrous ammonia, or ammonia, and urea ammonium nitrate solution (UAN), at the Company’s facility, using natural gas as its primary feedstock. In November 2012, the Company acquired Agrifos LLC.

The Company’s facility is located in the center of the Mid Corn Belt. The Mid Corn Belt includes the States of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio. The Company considers its market to be consisted of the States of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    2. Rentech Nitrogen Partners

    Rentech Nitrogen Partners (NYSE: RNF) is a variable distribution MLP that saw fertilizer margins decline in response to much higher natural gas prices than in 2012. As a result, by the third quarter the distribution was reduced to $0.27/unit, down from $0.50 in Q1 and $0.85 in Q2. The unit price for the year declined by 54 percent in 2013.

    3. EV Energy Partners

  • [By Sally Jones] urrent share price is $17.34, or 64.7% off the 52-week high of $49.18.

    Down 54% over 12 months, RNF has a market cap of $673.66 million, and trades with a P/B of 13.30. The dividend yield is 13.67%.

    Rentech Nitrogen Partners LP is a pure-play nitrogen fertilizer company structured as a publicly traded master limited partnership. The company manufactures and sells nitrogen fertilizer products including ammonia, UAN solution and ammonium sulfate.

    Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, there is one guru stakeholder and one recent insider sell.

    As of Sept. 30, 2013, the sole guru owner Jim Simons reduced his position by 14.04%, selling 49,490 shares at an average price of $28.06 for a loss of 38.2%.

    Over four losing quarters, he has averaged a loss of 52% on 352,600 shares at an average price of $36.30 per share. Selling, he has averaged a loss of 38% on 49,490 shares at an average price of $28.06 per share.

    His current shares of 303,110 represe nt 0.78% of shares outstanding.

    Track share pricing, revenue and net income:

    Highlight: Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ)

    The current share price is $3.25, or 66.2% off the 52-week high of $9.62.

    Down 57% over 12 months, TRQ has a market cap of $3.27 billion, and trades with a P/B of 0.60. The company does not pay a dividend.

    Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. is an international mining company focused on copper, gold and coal mines in the Asia Pacific region. The company has other projects containing molybdenum, rhenium, copper, gold, zinc, silver and uranium.

    Guru Action: As of Sept. 30, 2013, there are six guru stakeholders and one recent insider trade.

    The top guru owner is RS Investment Management who increased its position by 29.59% in the third quarter of 2013, buying 13,234,642 shares at an average price of $5.12 for a loss of 36.5%.

    Over six losing quarters, the firm has averaged a loss of 55% on 57,968,897 share s at an average price

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: 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.

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: Ashland Inc. (ASH)

Ashland Inc. operates as a specialty chemicals company in the United States and internationally. Its Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients segment produces cellulose ethers; and specialty additives and functional ingredients. Its products offer functionality, such as thickening and rheology control; water retention; adhesive strength; binding power; film formation; protective colloid, suspending, and emulsifying action; foam control; and pH stability. The company?s Ashland Hercules Water Technologies segment manufactures papermaking chemicals and supplies specialty chemicals. It offers sizing agents, wet/dry strength additives, and crepe and release additives for tissue manufacturing; and deposit control agents, defoamers, biocides, and other process additives. This segment also provides specialized chemicals and consulting services for the utility water treatment; and performance-based feed and control systems; and monitoring devices and remote system surveillance. Its A shland Performance Materials segment manufactures and supplies specialty chemicals and customized services to the building and construction, transportation, metal casting, packaging and converting, and marine markets. It also offers unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins, and gelcoats; adhesives and specialty resins; and metal casting consumables and design services. The company?s Ashland Consumer Markets segment produces and markets packaged automotive lubricants, chemicals, appearance products, antifreeze, and filters to the private passenger car, light truck, and heavy duty markets. It also operates a quick-lube franchise under the name of Valvoline Instant Oil Change. The company was founded in 1918 and is headquartered in Covington, Kentucky.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva] ow 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), which would stabilize acetate tow demands worldwide.

    Industrial Background and Gurus’ Preference

    Eastman’s earnings per share growth was significantly higher than industry median (46.9% vs. 5.2%) but so was Huntsman’s, at 46.5%. The critical difference between these two industry giants stands out by looking at their price to earnings: Eastman’s is below median (16.4 vs. 19.1) while Huntsman rose up to 130.1, thus entailing a significant price premium relative to industry peers’ average.

    Although Ashland does have an inferior price to earnings ratio than Eastman’s (11.5), there’s a significant difference in their earnings per share growth: 27%, probably caused by a decline in revenue.

    This might have been one of the reasons that motivated investors David Dreman (Trades, Portfolio) and Joel Greenblatt (Trades, Portfolio) to significantly reduce their stake in Huntsman (both of them by more than 80% margin). In contrast, Leon Cooperman (Trades, Portfolio) and Scott Black (Trades, Portfolio), reinforced their positions in Eastman. Most notably, Ray Dalio (Trades, Portfolio)

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Ashland (NYSE: ASH  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Shauna O’Brien]

    Jefferies reported on Thursday that it has cut its rating on chemical company Ashland Inc. (ASH).

    The firm has downgraded ASH from “Buy” to “Hold,” and has lowered the company’s price target from $104 to $97. This price target suggests a 9% upside from the stock’s current price of $88.47.

    Analyst Laurence Alexander commented: “Investor confidence in the asset shuffling thesis may not withstand 2-3 more rounds of downward revisions to EPS and FCF forecasts for 2014E-2016E.”

    “Pension headwinds, incentive comp, Valvoline marketing expenses, sluggish end markets: in our view, it all adds up, and makes further multiple expansion more difficult.”

    Looking ahead, the firm has reduced estimates for the fourth quarter from $1.70 to $1.59 per share. For FY2013, earnings estimates have been lowered from $6.25 to $6.15 per share. FY2014 estimates have been cut from $7.45 to $6.75 per share.

    Ashland shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Thursday. The stock is up 10% YTD

  • [By Seth Jayson]

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

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: 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 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%.

  • [By Charly Travers]

    2013 was an incredible year for investors, but has this amazing run-up left any climbing room for stocks in 2014? In this video, five of our analysts around Fool HQ answer the question, “What is one stock to watch in 2014?” They discuss Twitter (NYSE: TWTR  ) , Bank of Internet (NASDAQ: BOFI  ) , Extendicare (NASDAQOTH: EXETF  ) , Potash Corporation (NYSE: POT  ) , and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) , and why these five stocks could be poised to outperform in 2014, even as the market continues to reach all-time highs.

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: 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.

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: 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.

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: Linde AG (LIN)

Linde AG is a German company engaged in the gases and engineering sector. It operates two divisions: Gases and Engineering, as core divisions, as well as Gist. The Gases Division includes Healthcare, producing medical gases; and Tonnage, as its two global business units; as well as the two business areas Merchant and Packaged Gases, offering liquefied and cylinder gases, and Electronics. The Company’s products are used in the energy sector, for steel production, chemical processing, environmental protection and welding, as well as in food processing, glass production and electronics. The Engineering division offers planning, project development and construction of turnkey industrial plants used in fields, such as petrochemical and chemical industries, in refineries and fertilizer plants, to recover air gases, to produce hydrogen and synthesis gases, to treat natural gas, and in the pharmaceutical industry. As of August 13, 2012, the Company acquired Lincare Holdings Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of LIN TV (NYSE: LIN  ) were up as much as 13% today, climbing steadily after the local media provider announced this morning its second acquisition in less than a week.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap media stock LIN Media LLC (NYSE: LIN) might not be a household name, but there is a good chance you might be watching the company’s programs because like the Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc (NASDAQ: SBGI) and Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc (NASDAQ: NXST), its helping to consolidate the media industry plus its making investment in other forms of media like social media. The stock has also outperformed those two peers along with the PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio ETF (NYSEARCA: PBS).

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: K&S AG (KPLUY.PK)

K&S AG is a Germany-based holding company which is active in the chemical sector. The Company divides its activities into four main business segments. The Potash and Magnesium Products segment is engaged in the crude potash and magnesium salts extraction and in processing raw materials into products for industrial, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries. The Nitrogen Fertilizers business segment distributes fertilizers for almost all agricultural crops, and products for home and garden, plant care and plant protection, specialty fertilizers for public green areas, tree nurseries, horticulture and various special crops are offered. The Salt segment offers food grade salt, industrial salt and salt for chemical use, as well as de-icing salt applied to ensure road safety. The Complementary Business segments include recycling activities and the disposal and reutilization of waste salt mines, granulation of CATASAN, logistics, and trading in different basic chemicals. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Damas]

    Other players, such as K+S (KPLUY.PK), Israel Chemicals and APC, Belaruskali and Soquimich (SQM) maintained their world shares at Uralkali’s expense.

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: 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 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 Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: 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.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    But the industry has gone through some major merger and acquisition activity recently. Sherwin-Williams announced last November that it will acquire Mexico’s Consorcio Comex for $2.34 billion, giving the company greater geographical and product diversity. That’ll be an important source of growth for Sherwin-Williams, as rival PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG  ) recently closed on its $1.05 billion acquisition of Akzo Nobel and its architectural coatings business. Moreover, with DuPont (NYSE: DD  ) having sold off its performance-coatings business, which focuses largely on automotive paint, to private equity firm Carlyle Group, Sherwin-Williams needed to boost its size in order to keep up with its competition.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Paint and coating specialist PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG  ) advanced 6.2% after following Peabody’s lead, and reporting solid first-quarter earnings results. For the quarter, PPG reported what was essentially flat revenue at $3.33 billion, and a profit of $1.58 per share, versus consensus estimates calling for $3.44 billion in revenue, and $1.56 in EPS. Furthermore, PPG boosted its quarterly dividend by 3%, to $0.61, for a new forward yield of 1.7%. The quarter was influenced by a $2.19 billion sale of one of its units to Georgia Gulf, but it speaks more to the ongoing strength in the paint business from a consumer and commercial level.

Top Chemical Stocks To Watch For 2015: Huntsman Corporation(HUN)

Huntsman Corporation engages in the manufacture and sale of differentiated organic and inorganic chemical products worldwide. The company offers polyurethane chemicals, including methyl diphenyl diisocyanate, propylene oxide, polyols, propylene glycol, thermoplastic polyurethane, aniline, and methyl tertiary-butyl ether products, which are used to produce rigid and flexible foams, as well as coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers; and performance products, such as amines, carbonates, surfactants, linear alkyl benzene, maleic anhydride, performance chemicals, ethylene glycol, olefins, and technology licenses. It also provides advanced materials comprising epoxy resin compounds and formulations; cross-linking, matting agents, and curing agents; and epoxy, acrylic and polyurethane-based adhesives, and tooling resin formulations. In addition, Huntsman Corporation offers textile chemicals, dyes, and titanium dioxide. The company?s products are used in various applicatio ns, including adhesives, aerospace, automotive, construction products, durable and non-durable consumer products, electronics, medical, packaging, paints and coatings, power generation, refining, synthetic fiber, textile chemicals, and dye industries. Huntsman Corporation was founded in 1970 and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    On Tuesday, the basic materials sector proved to be a source of strength for the US market after Yellen statement. Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) shares surged 2.62 percent after reporting strong quarterly earnings, while China Gerui Advanced Materials Group (NASDAQ: CHOP) gained around 2.5 percent.

  • [By Victor Selva] re 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), which would stabilize acetate tow demands worldwide.

    Industrial Background and Gurus’ Preference

    Eastman’s earnings per share growth was significantly higher than industry median (46.9% vs. 5.2%) but so was Huntsman’s, at 46.5%. The critical difference between these two industry giants stands out by looking at their price to earnings: Eastman’s is below median (16.4 vs. 19.1) while Huntsman rose up to 130.1, thus entailing a significant price premium relative to industry peers’ average.

    Although Ashland does have an inferior price to earnings ratio than Eastman’s (11.5), there’s a significant difference in their earnings per share growth: 27%, probably caused by a decline in revenue.

    This might have been one of the reasons that motivated investors David Dreman (Trades, Portfolio) and Joel Greenblatt (Trades, Portfolio) to significantly reduce their stake in Huntsman (both of them by more than 80% margin). In contrast, Leon Cooperman (Trades, Portfolio) and Scott Black (Trades, Portfolio), reinforced their positions in Eastman. Most notably, Ray Dalio (Trades, Portfolio) even sold out his Huntsman position and bought more than 50,000 Eastman shares and a smaller 5,600 share position at Ashland by the end of September.

    Although being volatile, Eastman appears to show a promising future since it’s both cheaper and faster growing than its rivals in che