One of the world’s largest manufacturers of differentiated commodity chemical products, Huntsman Corp. (HUN - Free Report) serves a broad range of consumer and industrial markets including transportation, construction, home life, energy and fuels, and clothing and footwear.
The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock recently agreed to merge with Clariant AG in a deal that will create a formidable industry player, helping both companies grow their footprint in high-growth markets, as well as cut operating costs and expand margins.
Strong Third Quarter Outlook
While operations in the Texas Gulf Coast were temporarily affected by Hurricane Harvey, Huntsman still expects strong third quarter results and raised its third quarter expectations not too long ago.
The specialty chemicals company is set to report earnings on October 27th before the bell, and expects total revenues of $2.06 billion on earnings of 50 cents per share. While sales are projected to decline about 12.8% during the quarter, earnings are estimated to grow over 32% for the period.
Huntsman expects its global Polyurethanes business and the continued recovery of its Performance Products business to be robust in Q3.
Impressive Growth Fundamentals
With projected EPS growth of nearly 44%, it’s no wonder HUN stock sports a Growth Score of ‘A.’ And, Huntsman has a ROE of 30%, surpassing the Chemical-Diversified industry average of 14.28% and showing that the company is efficiently utilizing its shareholder funds.
Another important thing to note is that the company has beaten earnings estimates in the last 10 quarters, and has an average earnings surprise of more than 26% (based on the past four consecutive earnings beats).
Shares are Surging
So far this year, HUN stock has gained well over 51% compared to its industry’s year-to-date return of almost 15% and the S&P 500’s gain of about 14.4%.
Even with this surge, shares of HUN are pretty cheap. With a forward P/E of 12.9, Huntsman has traded below the S&P 500’s average price-to-earnings for the last year, and is less expensive when compared to the industry average as well.
It’s not just HUN right now either. Chemical-Diversified as an overall strong industry right now, and sits in the top 18% of all industries that we cover. But even among this impressive landscape, Huntsman is a standout. Thanks to its strong growth and value metrics, HUN looks to be an intriguing opportunity for investors.
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