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Air Products and NICE Sign MOU to Work Together in China

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Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD - Free Report) and the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy (NICE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to potentially work together on hydrogen fueling projects in China.  The MOU was signed by representatives of both the companies during the inauguration ceremony of NICE America Research, Inc. in California.

Both Air Products and NICE agreed in the MOU to together explore hydrogen fueling projects, and to recognize low cost hydrogen production and distribution solutions for each project. Air Products stated that it is looking forward to collaborating with NICE in setting a business structure to support the development of a hydrogen fueling business in China.  On the other hand, NICE stated that Air Products will enable it to further expand its hydrogen energy business, through its expertise and tangible results.

Air Products has extensive hydrogen fueling experience in the U.S. and globally, and is the largest hydrogen supplier in the world.  NICE is a research and development institute and has been  dedicated to the research and development of hydrogen technologies and is inclined in developing the hydrogen refueling business in China with major global partners.
Beyond the hydrogen fueling projects in the MOU, Air Products will also consider other opportunities in China as the company’s expertise in large scale oxygen production could be an asset.

Air Products recently completed the separation of its Electronics Materials Division through the spin-off of Versum Materials, Inc. The company is also on track to complete the sale of the Performance Materials Division (“PMD”) of its Materials Technologies segment to Germany's Evonik Industries AG. These actions will allow Air Products to direct resources to grow its core and stable industrial gases business.

Air Products should gain from cost-cutting measures, new business deals and strategic investments. However, its industrial gases business in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (“EMEA”) region is seeing pressure from a weak operating environment. Additionally, the company is exposed to currency headwinds and still has a debt-laden balance sheet.

Air Products currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Stocks to Consider
 

Some better-ranked companies in the chemical space include Univar Inc. (UNVR - Free Report) , The Chemours Company (CC - Free Report) and Cabot Corporation (CBT - Free Report) .

Univar has an expected earnings growth of 244.4% for the current year. The company sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Chemours also sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has an expected earnings growth of around 20.3% for the current year.

Cabot, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has an expected earnings growth of roughly 12.1% for the current year.

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