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American Vanguard Unit, Harvard Team Up to Curb Mosquitos

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A fully-owned subsidiary of American Vanguard Corporation (AVD - Free Report) , AMVAC Chemical Corporation has entered into a Research Collaboration Agreement with Harvard University to develop and commercialize novel, Harvard-owned technology for mosquito control. The technology is aimed at controlling the Aedes aegypti mosquito, known for spreading virus diseases including Zika, Dengue, Chikungungunya, and Yellow Fever in numerous countries globally.

AMVAC Chemical is currently a leader in the U.S. for the supply of effective aerial-applied mosquito adulticide used in professional public health mosquito control. A number of mosquito control districts, contractors and officials currently use the company’s solution to prevent the spread of mosquitoes as well as the virus they carry. The company is now focused on the development of effective and safe technology that would help curb the Zika virus that has recently spread in the U.S.

Per the recent collaboration, the two organizations will work on the technology which comes under the purview of a patent application filed by Harvard. AMVAC Chemical will support a research project led by the Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dr. Flaminia Catteruccia.

The collaboration will provide AMVAC with license options for the commercialization of spray-based or fog-based mosquito control products. It is looking forward to exploring the potential of this technology from Harvard and the prospects of its development for solutions.

Shares of American Vanguard rose around 2.8% to $18.15 on Nov 28.

In third-quarter 2016, American Vanguard’s earnings per share increased 11.1% year over year to 10 cents but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 12 cents. Strong volumes in some businesses also helped revenues improve from $72.5 million the third quarter of 2015 to $82.5 million in the reported quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company expects to continue facing a challenging environment. It expects lower manufacturing output in the fourth quarter as it manages inventory levels. The demand for corn products for the planting season is anticipated to improve in 2017. However, growth may be moderate due to reduced distribution channel inventories, supported by incremental expansion of the company globally and gradual growth in the crop as well as non-crop businesses.

American Vanguard currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked companies in the chemical space include Koppers Holdings Inc. (KOP - Free Report) , The Chemours Company (CC - Free Report) and Kronos Worldwide, Inc. (KRO - Free Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Koppers Holdings has an expected long-term growth of 10%.

Chemours has an expected long-term growth of around 15.5%.

Kronos Worldwide has an expected long-term growth of around 5%.

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