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Westlake (WLK) Arm NAPCO Launches Molecular-Based PVC Pipe

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Westlake Chemical Corp.’s (WLK - Free Report) subsidiary, North American Pipe Corp. (NAPCO), recently launched a new molecular-oriented PVC (PVCO) pipe. The product has a lower manufacturing carbon footprint than other water main materials. NAPCO’s investment expands its production capacity at the company’s Woodbridge, Ontario pipe and fittings facility.

The pipe meets AWWA C909 requirements and NAPCO’s own rigorous quality control standards, and is certified by third-party listing agencies. The product also caters to the needs of the underground municipal potable water, wastewater and reclaimed water systems. PVCO is available in sizes ranging from 6 inches to 12 inches. The company is presently working on inventory development in anticipation of spring construction in Canada.

The manufacturing process allows the PVC pipe to be able to withstand greater stresses from an internal pressure, generate a better impact performance and an increased flow capacity, and weigh less than comparable C900 products and also improve the environmental impact.

NAPCO stated that it is driven to deliver the pipe and fitting systems that score high on mitigating the infrastructure challenges, ensuring ease of installation and enhancing the water flow. The new PVCO product line reinforces its commitment to improve the environmental quality and maintain high performing PVC pipe and fittings for customers.

Westlake’s shares have risen 17.9% over the past year compared with the industry’s 25.9% rise. The company’s estimated earnings growth rate for the current year is pegged at 562%.

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On its third-quarter earnings call, the company noted that it expects the recently completed acquisitions of LASCO Fittings, Boral North America and Dimex, totaling around $2.6 billion, to initiate a stage of development and growth for its building products business. The LASCO buyout is expected to add to the Westlake subsidiary NAPCO’s product portfolio, focusing on new markets and products.

The Dimex acquisition adds a range of post-industrial recycled plastic consumer and building products. Westlake has also secured a leading position in the growing building products and construction markets due to the Boral North America buyout. The company is optimistic that the investments will strengthen its footprint in the sustainable building product markets and open up long-term growth opportunities.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Westlake currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the basic materials space include Univar Solutions Inc. (UNVR - Free Report) and AdvanSix Inc. (ASIX - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Celanese Corp. (CE - Free Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Univar has an expected earnings growth rate of 55.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised 9% upward over the past 60 days.

Univar beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in the four trailing quarters, with an earnings surprise of 24.1%, on average. UNVR’s shares have rallied 53.4% over a year.

AdvanSix has an expected earnings growth rate of 197% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised 14.1% upward over the past 60 days.

AdvanSix beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in the four trailing quarters, with an earnings surprise of 47%, on average. ASIX’s shares have surged 137.9% over a year.

Celanese has an expected earnings growth rate of 139.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised 9.1% upward over the past 60 days.

Celanese beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in the four trailing quarters, with an earnings surprise of 12.7%, on average. Shares of CE have rallied around 24.7% over a year.


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