Air Liquide (AIQUY) to Divest Some Operations in Africa

L'Air Liquide SA AIQUY has signed a deal with Adenia to sell some of its operations in the 12 African countries. These operations generate revenues of around €60 million ($65 million), accounting for less than 10% of the group's sales in Africa.

The proposed sale, which is subject to standard regulatory and financial approvals, exemplifies Air Liquide's approach to aggressively managing its portfolio. The operations that are being sold are situated in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo.

Adenia, a well-known investor in Africa for more than 20 years, intends to contribute up to €30 million ($32.7 million) to accelerate the growth of these companies.

Air Liquide will remain a major industrial and medical gases player in Africa, with approximately 1,600 employees and 700 million euros invested in the last three years. The company will continue to pursue development opportunities, particularly in the fields of energy transition, hydrogen and healthcare.

Positioned in new markets, the group benefits from key assets such as its strong business model, innovation and technology knowledge. The group explores solutions for climate and energy transition, particularly using hydrogen, and works to advance healthcare, digital and high technology.

Shares of Air Liquide have gained 31.7% over the past year against a 4.5% decline of its industry.

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Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Air Liquide currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Denison Mines Corp. DNN, Carpenter Technology Corporation CRS and Hawkins, Inc. HWKN.

Denison Mines carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). DNN beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 300%. The company’s shares have soared 84.3% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Carpenter Technology currently carries a Zacks Rank #1. CRS beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters while matching it once, with the average earnings surprise being 12.2%. The company’s shares have soared 63.7% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Hawkins’ current fiscal year earnings is pegged at $3.61 per share, indicating a year-over-year rise of 26.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HWKN’s current-year earnings has been revised 4.3% upward in the past 30 days. HWKN, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, beat the consensus estimate in each of the last four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 30.6%. The company’s shares have rallied roughly 83.5% in the past year.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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