Many plastics majors fared well in 2012

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: December 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers

AKRON, OHIO (Dec. 27, 2:45 p.m. ET) — Executives at PolyOne Corp. and several other publicly held plastics materials firms may have delayed buying calendars for 2013. That’s because their per-share stock prices have done so well in 2012 that they probably don’t want the year to end.

Stock prices at PolyOne, Huntsman Corp., Eastman Chemical Co. and Omnova Solutions Inc. each were up 50-75 percent from Jan. 1 to the close of trading Dec. 17. PolyOne’s focus on specialty markets helped to fuel a price gain of almost 72 percent. The market also reacted positively to PolyOne’s purchase of sheet maker and compounder Spartech Corp.

Georgia Gulf Corp. and Westlake Chemical Co. each fared even better on the stock-price front during 2012. Georgia Gulf’s per-share price more than doubled, climbing 120 percent, while Westlake posted a 96 percent price hike. Both firms saw their PVC businesses benefit from access to low-cost, natural gas-based feedstocks. Those feedstocks also helped Westlake’s polyethylene business unit.

These outsized returns make the 31 percent gain enjoyed by compounder A. Schulman Inc. seem modest by comparison. Schulman benefited from exiting low-margin businesses and working to build its color and additive concentrates markets, particularly in North America.

Dow Chemical Co., with a much broader global plastics and chemicals portfolio, managed a per-share price gain of about 11 percent. Kraton Performance Polymers Inc., with a focus on styrenic block copolymers, saw its price grow about 16 percent during 2012.

Not every publicly held plastics-related firm enjoyed 2012, however. Stock prices at global chemicals giant DuPont Co. and world acetal leader Celanese Corp. each fell about 3 percent during 2012, as slowing international businesses began to take their toll. Specialty chemicals maker Ferro Corp., which gets about 10 percent of its sales from plastics, saw its per-share price take a 36 percent hit as demand for its products in solar energy markets tumbled.

And while the bloom may not entirely be off the bioplastics market, Wall Street investors sure haven’t warmed to it yet. Cereplast Corp. saw its per-share price slide all the way to 4 cents — a 95 percent plummet. Fellow bioplastics maker Metabolix did not do much better during 2012, with a slide of almost 60 percent taking its price below $2 per share.

As for 2013, Dow Chemical’s prospects are good, according to financial website thestreet.com. On Dec. 17, the site’s staff said Dow’s strengths “can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year.”

And at The Motley Fool financial site, fool.com, analyst Seth Jayson states that Georgia Gulf is in good shape, based on its inventory levels. “Georgia Gulf may display positive inventory divergence, suggesting that management sees increased demand on the horizon,” he wrote Dec. 5.

PolyOne and other firms that were on the rise in 2012 are likely to be just fine in 2013 with stock gains half the size of the upswings they enjoyed this year.


Comments

Many plastics majors fared well in 2012

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: December 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

2014 US machinery shipments up 6 percent

November 25, 2014 5:17 pm ET

Through the first nine months of 2014 U.S. shipments of primary plastics equipment — for injection molding, blow molding and extrusion —...    More

Image

Globalization brings sizable growth, primarily in Asia

November 25, 2014 1:40 pm ET

In 1990, the year after Plastics News published our first issue, there were 33,000 injection molding machines sold worldwide. Fast forward to 2013,...    More

Image

Taipei Plas vandal and German firm trade lawsuits

November 25, 2014 1:26 pm ET

Taiwan businessman Karma Tang, who splashed red paint at German firm Baumüller GmbH's Taipei Plas booth, is in a messy legal battle.    More

Image

Auxiliary equipment maker Ross expands in India

November 25, 2014 1:12 pm ET

U.S. auxiliary equipment maker Charles Ross & Son Co. is expanding in India, opening a new plant early next year in Pune.    More

Image

3D Systems buying Cimatron

November 24, 2014 1:46 pm ET

3D Systems Corp. is buying Cimatron Ltd., an Israel-based company that makes integrated computer-assisted design and manufacturing software, for $97 m...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events