) clocked a new 52-week high of $110.67 on Aug 15, exceeding its
previous high of $110.49. The stock pulled back a bit to end the
trading session at $110.60 on that day.
The chemical giant, which has a market cap of around $57
billion, has seen its shares rise roughly 40% so far this year,
outperforming a roughly 7% rise in the S&P 500 for the period.
Average volume of shares traded over the last three months is
around 2,795.7K. The company's long-term projected EPS growth is
What's Driving LYB Up?
LyondellBasell's profit for second-quarter 2014, reported on Jul
25, jumped around 27% year over year as it saw gains across all
segments, especially the Olefins & Polyolefins - Americas
division. Both revenues and earnings for the quarter comfortably
beat Zacks Consensus Estimates. The company expects strong
production of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in
the U.S. to support margins going forward.
LyondellBasell, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in
2010, continues to benefit from favorable North American natural
gas environment and is executing its expansion projects to leverage
the U.S. NGLs advantage.
LyondellBasell remains on track with its ethylene expansion
projects. The company's multi-plant ethylene expansion program,
which started last year, represents a total investment of roughly
$1.3 billion across its Channelview, La Porte and Corpus Christi
facilities which benefit from shale gas production. The expansion
program, when in full swing, is expected to expand annual ethylene
capacity by an estimated 1.85 billion pounds for an aggregate
projected capacity of 11.8 billion pounds in North America.
LyondellBasell's methanol plant at Channelview, TX (restarted in
fourth-quarter 2013) along with its other major debottleneck
projects (including expansion at La Porte) are expected to bring in
new capacity at considerably lower cost than building new
facilities. LyondellBasell expects to start production from the La
Porte ethylene expansion project in the third quarter.
That said, LyondellBasell is exposed to volatility in raw
material and energy costs and a still challenging European
LyondellBasell is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.
Other companies in the chemical space worth considering include
Minerals Technologies Inc. (
), Celanese Corporation (
) and Johnson Matthey plc (
). While Minerals Technologies retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy), both Celanese and Johnson Matthey sport a Zacks Rank #2
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