After soaring in 2017, stocks of many publicly owned materials firms stayed closer to earth in the first half of 2018.
Six of the 15 firms tracked by Plastics News posted lower per-share prices between Jan. 1 and June 29. Four other firms basically were flat, with prices rising or falling by 1 percent or less. Only four public materials firms enjoyed higher per-share prices in that period.
The best performer of the group in that period was Eastman Chemical Co., which saw its price climb almost 8 percent. Hexcel Corp. wasn't far behind, with an increase of more than 7 percent.
Omnova Solutions checked in with a 4 percent price gain, while Celanese Corp. finished the half with its price up just under 4 percent.
The flat pack — with prices up or down 1 percent or less — included Westlake Chemicals Corp., PolyOne Corp., LyondellBasell Industries, Nexeo Solutions and Cabot Corp.
On the downside, Rogers Corp. saw its per-share stock price plummet 31 percent. Huntsman Corp. was next in line with a 12 percent slide, followed by Chemours Co. with an 11 percent decline. Kraton Polymers, Trinseo SA and DowDuPont Inc. registered price slides of 2-8 percent for the half.
By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 2 percent for those six months, while the broader S&P 500 showed a gain of almost 2 percent. Those indexes were up 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively, in full-year 2017, with many materials firms reporting major price gains as well.