Shares of Kronos Worldwide, Inc. (KRO - Free Report) have been performing well of late. The chemical maker has seen its shares pop around 14% over the past month. The company has also outperformed its industry’s gain of 5.4% to over the same time frame.
Let’s take a look into the factors that are driving this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock of late.
Strong second-quarter 2017 results and upbeat outlook have contributed to a rally in Kronos Worldwide’s shares. The company witnessed a significant rise in its profits in the second quarter on the back of favorable impacts of improved selling prices, increased sales and production volumes and reduced raw materials and other production costs. Its profits zoomed to $196.5 million or $1.70 per share in the quarter from $1.7 million or a penny per share a year ago.
Net revenues also jumped around 24% year-over-year to $441.4 million in the second quarter on the back of higher titanium dioxide (TiO2) selling prices and increased sales volumes. TiO2 sales volumes were driven by higher sales in the European and North American markets.
The company saw strong sales volumes during first-half 2017. It is witnessing strengthening demand for TiO2 products in some of its key markets. Kronos Worldwide also saw higher selling prices during the first half, driven by its successful implementation of price hikes.
Kronos Worldwide also provided an upbeat guidance for 2017. The company, in its second-quarter call, said that it expects its production volumes to be higher in 2017 on a year-over-year basis as production rates this year will be favorably impacted by the implementation of certain productivity-enhancing improvement projects at some facilities.
The company also envisions income from operations in 2017 will be higher on a year-over-year basis, mainly due to an expected increase in average selling prices and the favorable impact of anticipated higher production volumes in 2017.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks in the basic materials space worth considering include Kraton Corporation (KRA - Free Report) , Akzo Nobel N.V. (AKZOY - Free Report) and Air Liquide (AIQUY - Free Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Kraton has expected earnings growth of 7.2% for the current year.
Akzo Nobel has expected long-term earnings growth of 11.1%.
Air Liquide has expected long-term earnings growth of 8.1%.
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