FMC Corporation (FMC - Free Report) has been performing well of late. The company has a market capitalization of roughly $12.2 billion. The stock has moved up 8.2% in the past three months, outperforming the industry’s 3.8% decline. The company has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 13.6%. With strong fundamentals and solid long-term growth opportunities, this stock can be considered a solid bet now.
Strong Q1 Performance & Upbeat Outlook
FMC Corp’s first-quarter 2018 results improved on a year-over-year basis. The company delivered net profit of $267.2 million or $1.96 per share in the first quarter against a net loss of $124 million or 92 cents in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings came in at $1.84 per share in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.63.
Revenues jumped more than two-fold year over year to $1,210.7 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,146.1 million.
Notably, FMC Corp outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all of the trailing four quarters, delivering an average positive earnings surprise of 8.2%.
For 2018, the company raised adjusted earnings expectations to the range of $5.90-$6.20 per share, from the previous band of $5.20-$5.60. Moreover, the company expects adjusted earnings in the range of $1.65-$1.75 per share for second-quarter 2018.
Estimates Move Up
Estimates for the current quarter and for the current year have moved north over the past 30 days, reflecting analysts’ confidence on the stock.
Over this period, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter has increased around 18.6% to $1.72 per share. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 has also moved up 8.1% over the same timeframe to $6.03.
Healthy Prospects for Lithium Unit
FMC Corp is witnessing strong momentum in its Lithium unit as demand for battery-grade lithium product remains strong. A significant long-term driver for the lithium business is the expected rapid adoption of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.
Moreover, the company raised revenue estimate for the segment for 2018 on the back of strong performance in the first quarter. FMC Corp expects revenues in the range of $430-$460 million (up from the previous range of $420-$460 million) for the Lithium unit for 2018. The company stated that the plan to separate listing of its Lithium unit in October this year also remains on track.
Strategic Growth Via Acquisitions
FMC Corp completed the acquisition of a major portion of DuPont's Crop Protection business that has provided a significant growth platform for the company's Agricultural Solutions unit. Notably, the company’s revenues for the Agricultural Solutions segment jumped a whopping 108.9% year over year to $1,107.9 million in the first quarter, mainly driven by the DuPont asset buyout.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
FMC Corp currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Other top-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include The Chemours Company (CC - Free Report) , Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK - Free Report) and Huntsman Corporation (HUN - Free Report) , each flaunting a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Chemours has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 15.5%. Its shares have gained 23.5% in a year.
Westlake Chemical has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12.2%. Its shares have rallied 94.4% in a year.
Huntsman has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8.3%. Its shares have moved up 30.1% in a year.
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