With the first quarter behind them, publicly held plastics materials firms are liking what they've seen of 2017 so far.
Thirteen of the 16 public materials stocks tracked by Plastics News had higher per-share stock prices at the end of trading April 11 than they did on Jan. 1. Plastic additives/specialty chemicals maker Chemours Co. led the way with a 70 percent increase. The firm is continuing a run that saw its per-share price more than triple in 2016.
Huntsman Corp. notched a per-share price hike of almost 30 percent in the same comparison, while per-share prices at Kraton Polymers, Celanese Corp., Trinseo and Westlake Chemical Corp. each had surged 15 to 20 percent.
Rogers Corp., Hexcel Corp., Dow Chemical Co., DuPont Co., Eastman Chemical Co. and PolyOne Corp. each managed respectable per-share price rises of 6 to 10 percent through April 11. The much-anticipated merger of Dow and DuPont — two giants in the worlds of plastics and chemicals — is expected to be completed later this year.
Even global polyolefins leader LyondellBasell Corp. managed per-share price growth of almost 3 percent in that period. That's an improvement over the 1 percent price decline the firm saw for full-year 2016.
Most of the per-share increases recorded by plastics materials firms were larger than gains made by the Dow Jones index (4.5 percent), the S&P 500 (5.1 percent) and the NASDAQ index (9 percent).
The only materials firms looking to press the reset button on 2017 are Nexeo Solutions (per-share price down 2 percent), Omnova Solutions (down 3.5 percent) and A. Schulman Inc. (down almost 10 percent). Schulman continues to deal with financial shortfalls from its $800 million acquisition of Citadel Plastics, but the firm recently announced capacity expansions at five production sites outside of the United States.