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

North American robot sales set record

July 30, 2014 4:46 pm ET

The North American robotics sector is off to its fastest start ever, shattering last year's first-half record, with a first-half 2014 of 14,135...    More

Image

Styrolution will open new production late 2014

July 30, 2014 12:54 pm ET

Germany-based styrenic materials group, Styrolution, has announced it is expanding its facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany.    More

Image

UMass Lowell hosts collaborative research meeting for future projects

July 30, 2014 11:54 am ET

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell recently hosted a seminar, which was billed as a collaborative research meeting between Dow Chemical Co.,...    More

Red Wave machine helps sort 4,000 metric tons of mixed plastics recycling

July 30, 2014 11:00 am ET

Redwave, the Austrian manufacturer of optical sorting machines for recycled plastics, supplied a line for the IMOG sorting facility in South West...    More

Herbold system removes foreign materials from recycling machine

July 30, 2014 10:55 am ET

Herbold Meckeshneim GmbH has developed an affordable, simple solution to remove foreign material that enters recycling machine, such as metal parts an...    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events

Newsletters

Select from the list below to subscribe to customized Plastics News e-mail news alerts. Check the options you wish to receive.

View samples of all eNewsletters »

More Newsletters