On Mar 12, we issued an updated research report on leading
). While the company should benefit from capacity expansion and
its Geismar methanol project, it remains exposed to natural gas
DOW CHEMICAL (DOW): Free Stock Analysis
LYONDELLBASEL-A (LYB): Free Stock Analysis
METHANEX CORP (MEOH): Free Stock Analysis
PPG INDS INC (PPG): Free Stock Analysis
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Methanex's fourth-quarter 2013 results, reported on Jan 29, were
a mixed bag with adjusted earnings missing the Zacks Consensus
Estimate, but sales beating the same. The company swung to a
profit in the quarter. Healthy demand and higher methanol pricing
boosted top and bottom lines. Methanex expects the methanol
industry and methanol pricing environment to be healthy in the
first quarter of 2014.
Methanex is the world's largest supplier of methanol. The
methanol industry and its pricing environment appear attractive
in the longer term as global demand is expected to surpass new
capacity additions. Despite the global economic weakness, demand
for methanol remains healthy driven by energy-related
applications in Asia, particularly in China.
Methanex has also taken up a number of steps to boost capacity.
The company is progressing well with the relocation of the first
Chilean plant to Geismar, LA, and is also relocating the second
Chile plant (expected to come online in early 2016). The Geismar
project is expected to create significant value for its
With continued initiatives to increase production in New Zealand
and Medicine Hat (Canada) and progress in the Louisiana project,
Methanex has the potential to increase its operating capacity by
nearly 3 million tons by 2016, which in turn, will contribute to
cash generation and increased supply to customers.
However, Methanex may face gas supply restrictions in the near
term. The company's production has been affected by shortage of
natural gas supplies.
Short-term natural gas curtailment issues are expected across the
company's Chile, Trinidad and Egypt operations. Moreover,
methanol prices depend upon factors such as operating rates,
global energy prices, new supply additions and demand.
Key Picks from the Sector
Other companies in the chemical industry with favorable Zacks
The Dow Chemical Co.
LyondellBasell Industries NV
PPG Industries Inc.
), all with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).