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Chemical company FMC Corporation (FMC - Analyst Report) has inked a research and development deal with Quimica Agronomica de Mexico to jointly develop new biological fungicides and insecticides for use globally. 

Quimica Agronomica is a Mexican microbiology company which develops products that fight bacterial problems in crops. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 
The collaboration represents a part of FMC Corp.’s efforts to offer its customers biological products which address their changing needs. The deal will help the company in expanding its crop protection portfolio.
 
FMC Corp. is a leading diversified chemical company that serves agricultural, industrial, environmental and consumer markets across the globe. It is a leading maker of Lithium-based materials for primary and rechargeable batteries used in laptops, cellular phones and electric cars.
 
The company, in Oct 2012, inked an R&D deal with Italian chemical company, Isagro S.p.A., to jointly develop broad spectrum fungicide. The new product will be used for crop protection against diseases.
 
FMC Corp.’s third-quarter 2012 adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) came in at 79 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and exceeding the year-ago earnings of 69 cents. Sales rose 5% year over year to $902.4 million in the quarter on strength in the agricultural products business. But it missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $929 million.
 
For the fourth quarter, FMC Corp. expects adjusted earnings to be in the range of 75 cents to 85 cents per share. The company will report its fourth quarter results on Feb 6. 
 
FMC Corp. currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering are Arkema S.A. (ARKAY), BASF SE (BASFY) and Air Products (APD - Analyst Report). While both Arkema and BASF retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Air Products holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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