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Specialty chemicals maker Ashland Inc.’s (ASH - Snapshot Report) Texas City manufacturing facility has won the highest honor of Texas Chemical Council and Association of Chemical Industry of Texas (TCC/ACIT). It has clinched the ‘Best in Texas’ safety award for its outstanding safety performance. Ashland’s Texas City facility won the 2012 winner’s title in the category for 61-200 employees.

The TCC/ACIT panel comprised industry peers who examined the safety data and safety programs at 22 member plants. Criteria such as performance and leadership in employee, contractor safety programs, and participation in TCC activities and annual training seminars were taken into account for judging. 
The Texas City plant was also honored by TCC/ACIT for having no recordable injuries/incidents involving employees or contractors in 2012.   
Texas Chemical Council (TCC) is a trade association of chemical manufacturing facilities in Texas. Sixty eight member companies are currently associated with TCC, which manufactures important products for life sustainability and provides employment opportunities to more than 74,000 Texans at over 200 different plants in Texas.
The Association of Chemical Industry of Texas (ACIT) is a leading advocate for preserving the chemical industry’s economic vitality. ACIT is an association of both big and small enterprises ranging from chemical manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, and a variety of service companies that are vital to the Texas chemical industry. 
Ashland makes nickel and cobalt-based alloys in sheet, coil and plate forms. Its Consumer Markets segment markets Valvoline, the world’s first lubricating oil.
Last month, Ashland reported second-quarter fiscal 2013 (ended Mar 31, 2013) adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) from continuing operations of $1.78 per share, outshining the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.56 a share. Revenues fell 5% year over year to $1,974 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,057 million. Ashland was challenged by weakness prevailing in a number of key regions, namely Europe. 
Ashland currently carries a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other companies in the chemical industry that are worth considering include Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. , Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) and Methanex Corp. (MEOH - Analyst Report). All of them retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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