Huntsman Corporation ( HUN Quick Quote HUN - Free Report) is expected to benefit from its investment in downstream businesses and differentiated product innovation as well as strategic acquisitions amid certain headwinds including higher raw material and logistical costs. The company’s shares are up 16.8% over a year, compared with the 24.3% rise of its industry.
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research
Let’s find out why this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock is worth retaining at the moment.
What’s Aiding HUN?
Huntsman remains focused on growing its downstream specialty and formulation businesses and is shifting its MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) business from components to differentiated systems that typically have higher margins and lower volatility.
The company's Polyurethanes segment is well positioned for strong upside in the long term on the back of the company’s focus on ramping up its high-value differentiated downstream portfolio. Substitution of MDI for less effective materials will remain a key driving factor for the MDI business. Huntsman should also gain from significant synergies of acquisitions. Its strong liquidity and balance sheet leverage gives it adequate flexibility to continue to develop and expand its core businesses through acquisitions and internal investments. The company expects to deliver more than $120 million of annualized savings and acquisition integration synergies by mid-2023. It achieved $27 million of targeted annualized savings in 2020. Huntsman remains on track with the integration of CVC Thermoset and Gabriel Performance Products acquisitions. It expects these acquisitions to deliver run-rate synergies of roughly $23 million by early 2023. A Few Headwinds
The company faces headwind from a spike in raw material and logistical costs as witnessed in the most recent quarter. Supply disruptions have led to a rise in raw material costs. Huntsman expects unfavorable impacts from higher costs of raw materials, especially benzene, in the third quarter. As such, higher raw material costs may impact margins in the third quarter.
Huntsman’s Advanced Materials unit is still exposed to headwind from weaker demand in aerospace markets. The pandemic is still impacting international travel. Sales in the company’s aerospace business were flat year over year in the second quarter of 2021. Despite some recovery, weakness in aerospace is expected to continue in the third quarter.
Stocks to Consider
Better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include
BASF SE ( BASFY Quick Quote BASFY - Free Report) , The Chemours Company ( CC Quick Quote CC - Free Report) and Avient Corporation ( AVNT Quick Quote AVNT - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here BASF has an expected earnings growth rate of 96.7% for the current year. The company’s shares have gained around 24% in the past year. Chemours has a projected earnings growth rate of 86.4% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied around 61% in a year. Avient has an expected earnings growth rate of 75.1% for the current year. The stock has also surged around 80% over a year.