Welcome!

News Feed Item

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Dow Chemical, PPG Industries, Methanex, DuPont and Celanese

CHICAGO, April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the Chemicals, including Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW-Free Report), PPG Industries Inc. (NYSE:PPG-Free Report), Methanex Corp. (Nasdaq:MEOH-Free Report), DuPont  (NYSE:DD-Free Report) and Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com.

Industry: Chemicals

Link: http://www.zacks.com/commentary/32131/chemical-industry-stock-outlook---april-2014

The chemical industry is poised for a recovery this year and the next. The American Chemistry Council (ACC), an industry trade group, foresees national chemical output (excluding pharma) to rise 2.5% in 2014 (up from a 1.6% increase in 2013) and further improve to a 3.5% gain next year. Growth will be backed by strong agricultural market fundamentals, healthy demand from light vehicles market and a recovery in the housing market manifested by increase in building permits and a steady pick-up in home prices.

U.S. chemical exports are expected to rise 6.6% this year and 7.6% in 2015, leading to continued generation of trade surplus. Trade in chemicals is expected to rise with a recovery in global manufacturing activities.

On the global front, ACC sees production to move up 3.8% in 2014 and 4.1% in 2015 with healthy gains expected across North America and emerging markets.

The ACC expects strong capital spending in the coming years, stemming from new investments in petrochemicals and derivatives. It envisions U.S. capital spending to reach $61.2 billion by 2018.

The shale gas boom is expected to drive investment on plants and equipment in the U.S. The ACC expects U.S. chemical revenues to surpass $1 trillion and the industry to rake in record trade surpluses by 2018, partly boosted by significant share gas-driven chemical capacity.

According to the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), which represents the European chemicals industry, chemical output was flat year over year in Europe in 2013, modestly better than an expected 0.5% decline. Weak demand across automotive and construction markets remain as overhang, contributing to fragile recovery. Nevertheless, CEFIC expects recovery in the European chemicals industry to continue at a sluggish pace and sees a 1% rise in output in 2014, aided by an uptick in exports.

OPPORTUNITIES

Shale Boom Driving Chemical Investment

According to the ACC, emerging market growth and favorable oil-to-gas price ratios resulting from abundant shale gas production are driving U.S. chemical exports. A string of factors are driving growth in the export markets, including favorable energy costs stemming from the abundance of shale gas and healthy demand from the emerging markets.

Affordable natural gas and ethane (derived from shale gas) offer U.S. producers a compelling cost advantage over their global counterparts who use a more expensive, oil-based feedstock. New methods of extraction such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are boosting shale production, bringing down prices of ethane in the process.

Leveraging the abundant natural gas supply and cost advantage, chemical companies are investing billions of dollars for setting up facilities (crackers) that produce ethylene from ethane. The U.S. has emerged as an attractive investment location and chemical makers are aggressively expanding capacity in the country.

A recent ACC report indicated that potential domestic chemical investment related to share gas has reached as high as $100 billion, more than 50% of which are from firms outside of the U.S. Already 148 projects -- backed by Federal government support -- have been announced by chemical makers to take advantage of ample natural gas supplies.

These projects may lead to $81 billion in new chemical industry output annually and 637,000 permanent new jobs by 2023. Such investments are expected to boost capacity and export over the next several years.

Agriculture: A Compelling Opportunity

Major chemical makers are increasingly shifting focus on businesses that cater to agriculture and nutrition markets in an effort to cut their exposure on other businesses that are grappling with weak demand and input costs pressure. In particular, agriculture is emerging as a lucrative market as evident from recent trends.

A healthy start in the North American growing season, strong planting activity by growers across North and Latin America, solid order book and healthy supply of seeds and crop protection products represent driving factors.

Strategic Actions

Mergers and acquisitions offer chemical companies another means to shore up growth in a still challenging economic scenario. These companies remain focused on exploring growth opportunities in the fast-growing emerging markets, particularly in the lucrative regions of Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Moreover, cost-cutting measures implemented by chemical companies including plant closures and headcount reduction should yield industry-wide margin improvements. Cash flows derived through these actions can be used for growth.

Recovery in Chinese Demand

China, a major market, is expected to see a recovery in 2014. Government stimulus actions coupled with efforts to stem inflation appear to bear fruit and exports to the U.S. and other key markets are regaining momentum. An improved demand outlook for China augurs well for the chemical industry this year.

Stocks We Like

Chemical stocks that we like include The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW-Free Report), PPG Industries Inc. (NYSE:PPG-Free Report), Methanex Corp. (Nasdaq:MEOH-Free Report), DuPont  (NYSE:DD-Free Report) and Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE-Free Report). Dow and DuPont, in particular, are witnessing strong momentum in agriculture, driven by higher demand for crop protection products.

WEAKNESSES

Macro Headwinds

Persistent weakness in Europe and its impact on global growth remain sources of near-term uncertainty. Western Europe continues to pose challenges on chemical stocks due to weak demand. Given the industry's sensitivity to the global economy, any negative current in the macro economy would be reflected in the prospects of the chemical companies.

In addition, weakness still persists in commercial construction, which is among the key end-use markets. Demand from some of the major manufacturing industries remains below the historic levels.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time!  Click here for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.

Get the full Report on DOW- FREE

Get the full Report on PPG- FREE

Get the full Report on MEOH- FREE

Get the full Report on DD- FREE

Get the full Report on CE- FREE

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

[email protected]

http://www.zacks.com

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.