A few companies in the chemical space are lined up to report their quarterly results on Feb 8. The chemical industry is clawing its way back from the trough of the Great Recession, helped by continued strength across automotive and housing markets – two major end-use markets for chemicals.
Chemical makers continue to shift their focus to attractive, growth markets in an effort to whittle down their exposure on businesses that are grappling with weak demand. They are also looking for cost synergy and enhanced operational scale through consolidations as exhibited by a wide swath of deals in the recent past. Strategic actions including cost management and productivity improvement also remain the prime focus of these companies.
However, the industry remains buffeted by a number of challenges including a still weak agriculture market, currency headwinds, weak demand in the energy space, Eurozone’s feeble recovery and a sluggish Chinese economy.
As per the Zacks Industry classification, the chemical industry is grouped under the broader Basic Materials sector. Based on the earnings scorecard as of Feb 3, 65% of the sector participants on the S&P 500 index have already reported their quarterly numbers. Earnings for these companies increased 9.6% from the same period last year while revenues have increased 0.7%, per the latest Earnings Preview. Overall earnings for the Basic Materials sector are now projected to rise 4.5% while revenues are expected to slip 3.2%.
Among the chemical companies that have already come up with their quarterly numbers, we have seen positive earnings surprises from prominent chemical names like Dow Chemical (DOW - Free Report) , DuPont (DD - Free Report) , PPG Industries (PPG - Free Report) and LyondellBasell Industries (LYB - Free Report) .
Let’s take a peek into three chemical companies that are slated to report their fourth-quarter results on Feb 8.
Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. (AXTA - Free Report) will report results ahead of the bell. It has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 30 cents. This makes surprise prediction difficult even though the company carries a favorable Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.
The company missed estimates in two of the trailing four quarters while beating once and coming in line on the other occasion. In this timeframe, it delivered an average negative surprise of 2.51%.
W. R. Grace & Co. (GRA - Free Report) will report earnings numbers ahead of the bell. The company has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 93 cents. The company carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), which coupled with a 0.00% ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 6.44%.
Compass Minerals International, Inc. (CMP - Free Report) will report after the close. The company has an Earnings ESP of -1.72% as the Most Accurate estimate stands at $1.14 while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.16. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3, but its negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult. The company beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and delivered an average positive surprise of 7.36%.
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