Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (ASH - Free Report) declared that it will raise the price of unsaturated polyester resins, epoxy vinyl ester resins and gelcoats in North America by 9 cents per lb. The price increase will be effective from Sep 18 or as contracts permit.
According to Ashland, the price hike is due to the continued spike in costs of key raw materials and freight aggravated by the recent disruption caused by Hurricane Harvey to the North American chemical industry. The move is expected to ensure effective service to customers in terms of quality and performance along with the ability to reinvest in the company’s product line.
Shares of Ashland have increased 0.4% in last three months, underperforming the industry’s 9.5% gain.
Ashland reported a net loss from continuing operations of $16 million or 26 cents per share in third-quarter fiscal 2017 (ended Jun 30), against a net income of $24 million or 38 cents in the year-ago period. Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings were 83 cents per share which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 70 cents.
According to Ashland, the Specialty Ingredients unit recorded 7% year-over-year increase in revenues while sales of Composites grew by 20% on the back of disciplined pricing and robust volume expansions in various global end markets. Intermediates and Solvents unit also witnessed 9% increase in sales owing to continued recovery in butanediol pricing and improving global demand.
Ashland closed the acquisition of Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc., in May 2017. The acquisition was a key contributor to Ashland’s sales in the third quarter. The company expects to achieve meaningful cost synergies from leveraging combined capabilities along with tax synergies resulting from Pharmachem integration.
Ashland Global Holdings Inc. Price and Consensus
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Ashland currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the chemical space are Air Liquide (AIQUY - Free Report) , Kronos Worldwide (KRO - Free Report) and BASF SE (BASFY - Free Report) .
Air Liquide has expected long-term earnings growth of 8.1% and sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Kronos Worldwide has expected long-term earnings growth of 5% and flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.
BASF has expected long-term earnings growth of 8.6% and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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