Chemical giant Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW ) has joined its peers, DuPont (NYSE: DD ) and Monsanto (NYSE: MON ) in making agricultural hay. With its chemicals businesses attempting to fight through economic quicksand in much of the world, especially Europe, Dow was able to turn out a robust quarter in part because of steadiness in its agricultural sciences segment.
Of course, Dow remains far more tied to its traditional roots than are the other two companies. While Monsanto, which once operated under the slogan "Better Living Through Chemistry," now obtains virtually all its revenues from the production of seeds, pesticides, and related products. DuPont, by comparison, is approaching the point where half its revenues are agriculture-based. At Dow, farm-related products still make up only about 15% of the top line, but the unit is expanding steadily.
As CEO Andrew Liveris told Reuters following his company's earnings release: "Two-thirds of the increase in revenues and profits came from agricultural science products. That will continue to set records for us this year, and the next several years."
10 Best Stocks To Own For 2015: Calgon Carbon Corp (CCC)
Calgon Carbon Corporation is a provider of products, services, and solutions for purifying water and air. The Company operates in three reportable segments: Activated Carbon and Service, Equipment, and Consumer. The Activated Carbon and Service segment manufactures granular and powdered activated carbon for use in applications to primarily remove organic compounds from water, air and other liquids and gases. The service aspect of the segment consists of reactivation and the leasing, monitoring and maintenance of carbon adsorption equipment. The Equipment segment provides solutions to customers��air and water purification problems through the design, fabrication, installation, and sale of equipment systems that utilize a combination of the Company�� enabling technologies: carbon adsorption, ultraviolet light (UV), Ballast Water Treatment (BWT), and advanced ion exchange separation (ISEP). The Consumer segment primarily consists of the manufacture and sale of carbon cloth. On March 31, 2011 the Company completed the acquisition of Calgon Carbon Japan KK (CCJ).
Activated Carbon and Service
The sale of activated carbon is the principle component of the Activated Carbon and Service business segment. Activated carbon is a porous material that removes organic compounds from liquids and gases by a process known as adsorption. In adsorption, unwanted organic molecules contained in a liquid or gas are attracted and bound to the surface of the pores of the activated carbon as the liquid or gas is passed through. The primary raw material used in the production of the Company�� activated carbons is bituminous coal which is crushed, sized and then processed in low temperature kilns followed by high temperature furnaces. The Company also markets activated carbons from other raw materials, including coconut shell and wood. The Company produces and sells a range of activated, impregnated or acid washed carbons in granular, powdered or pellet form. Granular activated carbon (GAC) particl! es are irregular in shape and generally used in fixed filter beds for continuous flow purification processes.
Another component of the Activated Carbon and Service business segment are the optional services associated with supplying the Company�� products and systems required for purification, separation, concentration, taste and odor control. The Company offers a variety of treatment services at customer facilities, including carbon supply, equipment leasing, installation and demobilization, transportation and spent carbon reactivation. Other services include feasibility testing, process design, performance monitoring and maintenance of Company-owned equipment. The central component of the Company�� service business is reactivation of spent carbon and re-supply. The Company provides reactivation/recycling services in packages ranging from a 55 gallon drum to truckload quantities.
Along with providing activated carbon products, the Company has developed a portfolio of standardized, pre-engineered, adsorption systems capable of treating liquid flows from 1 gallons per minute to 1,400 gallons per minute, which can be delivered and installed at treatment sites. These self-contained adsorption systems are used for vapor phase applications, such as volatile organic compound (VOC) control, air stripper off-gases, and landfill gas emissions. Liquid phase equipment systems are used for applications of potable water, process purification, wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation and de-chlorination. The Company produces a range of odor control equipment, which typically utilizes catalytic activated carbon to control odors at municipal wastewater treatment facilities and pumping stations. The Company�� variety of equipment systems treats the odors that emanate from municipal wastewater treatment facilities and the sewage collection systems that bring the waste to the treatment plant.
The ISEP (Ionic Separator) continuous ion exchange units ! are used ! for the purification and recovery of many products in the food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. The ISEP Continuous Separator units perform ion exchange separations using countercurrent processing. The ISEP and CSEP (chromatographic separator) systems are used at over 300 installations worldwide in more than 40 applications in industrial settings, as well as in environmental applications, including perchlorate and nitrate removal from drinking water. The Hyde GUARDIAN System was developed as a chemical-free, International Maritime Organization (IMO) type approved, ballast water management solution. The system is designed to meet the needs of ship owners to install treatment system.
The primary product offered in the Consumer segment is carbon cloth. Carbon cloth, which is activated carbon in cloth form, is manufactured in the United Kingdom and sold to the medical, military, and specialty markets. Zorflex Activated Carbon Cloth can be used in numerous additional applications, including sensor protection; filters for ostomy bags; wound dressings; conservation of artifacts, and respiratory masks.
The Company competes with Norit, N.V., Mead/Westvaco Corporation, Siemens Water Technologies, Trojan Technologies, Inc., Xylem, Wedeco Ideal Horizons, Panasia, Alfa Lavel Tumba AB, Hyde Marine, Inc. and Wartsila.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Computacenter Plc (CCC) slipped 4.5 percent to 543 pence, its biggest drop since June. UBS AG lowered the technology-services provider to neutral from buy, citing its valuation. The shares have climbed to 13.18 times estimated earnings from 11.81 times at the end of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Best Chemical Stocks To Watch Right Now: Basf SE (BASFY)
BASF SE is a chemical company. The Company operates in six segments: Chemicals, Plastics, Performance Products, Functional Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. Chemicals segment offers products in the chemical, electronic, construction, textile, automotive, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Plastics segment offers a range of products, system solutions and services. Performance Products help its customers to improve their products and processes. Functional Solutions segment bundles system solutions and products for customers and industries. The Company�� Agricultural Solutions segment includes crop protection products, which guard against fungal diseases, insects and weeds. Its Oil & gas segment is a producer of oil and gas. On April 9, 2009, the Company acquired Ciba Holding AG. In April 2010, Intertek Group plc acquired the Regulatory and Safety Testing businesses of Ciba Expert Services (Ciba ES) from the Company. In December 2010, the Company completed its acquisition of Cognis Holding GmbH from Cognis Holding Luxembourg S.a r.l.
The Company�� Chemicals segment portfolio ranges from basic chemicals, glues and electronic chemicals for the semiconductor and flat panel display industry, to solvents and plasticizers, as well as starting materials for detergents, plastics, textile fibers, paints, coatings and pharmaceuticals. This segment is organized into three divisions: Inorganics, Petrochemicals and Intermediates. The important basic products of the Inorganics division are ammonia, methanol, sodium hydroxide, chlorine, as well as sulfuric and nitric acid. The Petrochemicals division produces products, such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene, which are produced in steam crackers from naphtha or natural gas. In further processing stages, it produces alcohols, solvents and plasticizers for the chemicals and plastics industries. BASF SE�� Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a range of intermediates of all produc! ers worldwide. The product lines include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. They serve as starting materials for products, such as coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, crop protection products, as well as detergents and cleaners.
BASF�� Plastics segment is organized into two divisions: Performance Polymers and Polyurethanes. The Performance Polymers division is a supplier of engineering plastics, polyamides and polyamide intermediates, foams and specialty plastics. The Company offers its customers a portfolio of engineering plastics based on polyamide 6 and polyamide 6,6. This is complemented by products Ultradur, Ultraform and Ultrason. For the packaging, textile and food industries, it offers Ultramid, a base product for the manufacturing of fibers and foils. BASF SE�� product range also includes Ecoflex and Ecovio, biodegradable specialty plastics for the packaging industry. Styropor and its refinement Neopor are styrene-based precursors for foams used in insulating material for construction and packaging. The Polyurethanes division is a supplier of basic products, systems and specialties. The Company offers polyurethane products for numerous customer applications. Under brand names, such as Elastoflex and Elastopor, polyurethanes are used, as rigid or flexible foams in construction for furniture and household appliances.
The Performance Products segment consists of the Acrylics & Dispersions, Care Chemicals and Performance Chemicals divisions. Acrylics & Dispersions produces acrylic acid, as well as its derivatives superabsorbents and polymer dispersions. Superabsorbents are used particularly in diapers. Polymer dispersions are used in the production of glues, coatings, nonwoven materials and construction chemicals. The Company�� product portfolio for the paper industry consists of binders, process chemicals and kaolin pigments. Its Care Chemicals portfolio consists of products f! or cleani! ng, care, cosmetics and hygiene. Performance Chemicals pools specialties for various customer industries. The product portfolio consists of antioxidants, pigments, light stabilizers and specialty additives. The division also makes chemicals for the production and finishing of leather and textiles.
The Functional Solutions segment consists of the Catalysts, Construction Chemicals and Coatings divisions. The Catalysts division develops catalysts and adsorbents. It produces catalysts that transform pollutants in the exhaust flows of vehicles into harmless chemical and plastics. The Construction Chemicals division is engaged in development of concrete admixtures, such as concrete plasticizers, deferrers and curing agents. It also produces and markets construction systems. The Coatings division is a provider of coatings solutions for automotive and industrial applications. Its brands Glasurit and R-M are for the car refinish business.
The Agricultural Solutions segment consists of the Crop Protection division. The Company develops and produces active ingredients and formulations for the improvement of crop health and yields, and markets them worldwide. Its portfolio includes fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and seed treatments. Its product Headline contains the active ingredient F500, which is not only used for corn and soybean, but also for numerous other crops.
Oil & Gas
BASF�� oil and gas activities are bundled in the Wintershall Group. Wintershall and its subsidiaries operate in the business sectors exploration and production, and natural gas trading. In the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, the Company focuses on oil and gas regions in Europe, North Africa and South America, as well as Russia and the Caspian Sea region. The Mittelplate oil field in the North Sea tidal flats is the cornerstone of the Company�� oil production in Germany. Wintershall and RWE-D! EA each h! old a 50% interest in this field. During the year ended December 31, 2009, it acquired 25% interest in Cuxhaven concession. It operates 26 offshore platforms in Mittelplate region, of which 19 are actually controlled. In Libya, Wintershall operates eight onshore oil fields in the concessions 96 and 97 and exploits the associated gas released during crude oil production in a gas utilization plant for the local demand. In Mauritania, it operates two onshore exploration blocks. In 2008, Wintershall acquired stakes of 50% each in two exploration areas in the Canadon Asfalto Basin. It supplies Germany and several other European countries. The gas pipeline network operated by WINGAS TRANSPORT connects the markets in Western Europe with a natural gas infrastructure that runs through Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation all the way to the gas fields in Siberia. Other components portfolio include natural gas storage facility in Western Europe, in Rehdn, Germany, and the natural gas storage facility in Haidach, Austria.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Maxx Chatsko]
It was only a matter of time. Last month BASF (NASDAQOTH: BASFY ) , the world's largest chemical company, announced three separate developments that will thrust it from being a mediocre player in industrial enzymes to a dominant force. BASF acquired Henkel's detergent enzyme technology, licensed the C1 biotechnology platform from Dyadic, and befriended Direvo Industrial Biotechnology from Germany for a next-generation animal feed enzyme.
- [By Dan Carroll]
Firms across Germany's DAX have caught on. BASF (NASDAQOTH: BASFY ) shares haven't had a great year so far, but the world's largest chemicals firm is looking around the world for growth. The company seeks to double its customer base in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020 in its chemicals and materials business, projecting sales in Asia to double from last year's 12.5 million euros to 25 million euros by that year. That kind of global growth will benefit investors, and the less BASF and other German stocks rely on Europe for sales, the better shareholders will do.
Best Chemical Stocks To Watch Right Now: Gulf Resources Inc (GURE)
Gulf Resources, Inc. (Gulf Resources), incorporated on February 28, 1989, is engaged in manufacturing and trading of bromine and crude salt, and manufacturing and selling of chemical products used in oil and gas field exploration, oil and gas distribution, oil field drilling, wastewater processing, papermaking chemical agents and inorganic chemicals. As of December 31, 2011, its products have been sold only within the People�� Republic of China. The Company operates in three segments: bromine, crude salt and chemical products. It manufactures and trades bromine and crude salt through Shouguang City Haoyuan Chemical Company Limited (SCHC), and manufactures chemical products for use in the oil industry and paper manufacturing industry through Shouguang Yuxin Chemical Industry Co., Limited (SYCI). On December 22, 2011, the Company acquired substantially all of the assets owned by Liangcai Zhang in the Shouguang City Yangkou Township Area.
Bromine and Crude Salt
The Company manufactures and distributes bromine through its wholly owned subsidiary, SCHC. Bromine (Br2) is a halogen element and it is a red volatile liquid at standard room temperature, which has reactivity between chlorine and iodine. Elemental bromine is used to manufacture a variety of bromine compounds used in industry and agriculture. Bromine is also used to form intermediates in organic synthesis. Its bromine is used in brominated flame retardants, fumigants, water purification compounds, dyes, medicines and disinfectants. Its production sites are located in the Shandong Province in northeastern China. Its production feeds include natural brine, vitriol, chlorine, sulfur and coal.
The Company also produces crude salt, which is produced from the evaporation of the wastewater after its bromine production process. Once the brine is returned to the surface and the bromine is removed, the remaining brine is pumped to onsite containing pools and then exposed to natural sunshine. T! his causes the water to evaporate from the brine, resulting in salt being left over afterwards. Crude salt is the principal material in alkali production, as well as chlorine alkali production and is used in the chemical, food and beverage, and other industries.
The Company produces chemical products through its wholly owned subsidiary, SYCI. The products it produces include hydroxyl guar gum, demulsified agent, corrosion inhibitor for acidizing, bactericide, chelant, iron ion stabilizer, clay stabilizing agent, flocculants agent, remaining agent, expanding agent, bromopropane, environmental friendly additive products, solid lubricant and polyether lubricant.
Gulf Resources competes with Shandong Yuyuan Group Company Limited, Shandong Haihua Group Company Limited, Shandong Dadi Salt Chemical Group Company Limited, Shandong Haiwang Chemical Company Limited, Shandong Weifang Longwei Industrial Company Limited, Shandong Caiyangzi Saltworks, Beijing Tianqing Chemical Company Limited, Shandong Weifang Shuangxing Pesticides Company Limited, Zibo Dacheng Pesticides Company Limited, Befar Group Company Limited, China Eastar (Group) Chemical Industry Company Limited and Pecome Technologies Limited.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Another under-$10 basic materials player that's starting to move within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Gulf Resources (GURE), which manufactures and trades bromine and crude salt, and manufactures and sells chemical products used in oil and gas field exploration. This stock has been a favorite target of the bulls so far in 2013, with shares up sharply by 140%.
If you take a look at the chart for Gulf Resources, you'll notice that this stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $1.10 to its recent high of $3.10 a share. During that uptrend, shares of GURE have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of GURE within range of triggering a major breakout trade.
Market players should now look for long-biased trades in GURE if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.87 to its 52-week high at $3.10 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 467,986 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then GURE will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $4 to $4.50 a share.
Traders can look to buy GURE off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some near-term support levels at $2.38 a share, or near its 50-day moving average of $2.23 a share. One can also buy GURE off strength once it starts to clear those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Big Earnings Movers: Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO) is up 28.3% at $24.05. Gulf Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: GURE) is up 15.8% at $2.46.
Stocks on the Move: ViroPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: VPHM) is up 25.4% at $49.38 on a $4.2 billion buyout offer from London-listed Shire. Zalicus Inc. (NASDAQ: ZLCS) is down 72.3% at $1.30 on a failed drug trial.
Best Chemical Stocks To Watch Right Now: Wacker Chemie AG (WCH)Wacker Chemie AG is a Germany-based company engaged in chemical industry. The Company operates through four business segments: WACKER SILICONES, which produces silicone products, ranging from silanes through silicone fluids, emulsions, elastomers, sealants and resins to pyrogenic silicas; WACKER POLYMERS, which offers a range of polymeric binders and additives; WACKER POLYSILICON, which provides polysilicon, and WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, which is the life science division of the Company, offers solutions and products for the food, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. The Company offers its products for a range of sectors, including consumer goods, food, pharmaceuticals, textiles and the solar, electrical/electronics, basic-chemical industries, medical technology, biotech and mechanical engineering, automotive and construction. The Company also supplies silicon wafers to the semiconductor industry. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
Wacker Chemie AG (WCH), the fourth-largest producer of polysilicon, jumped 9 percent to 56.22 euros, its largest increase since December.Banks Decline
Commerzbank slumped 3.7 percent to 8.18 euros, for the biggest loss on the benchmark index.