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Chemical Stock Q4 Earnings Slated on Feb 21: WLK, ECL, IPHS

A few chemical companies are gearing up to report their quarterly results on Feb 21.

As per the Zacks Industry classification, the chemical industry is grouped under the broader Basic Materials sector. Based on the earnings scorecard as of Feb 17, 85% of the sector participants on the S&P 500 index have already reported their quarterly numbers. Earnings for these companies increased 1.8% from the same period last year while revenues have fell 0.2%, per the latest Earnings Preview . Overall earnings for the Basic Materials sector are now projected to rise 4% while revenues are expected to decline 3.2%.

The chemical industry is gradually gaining strength on the back of sustained momentum in the automotive space and rebounding construction markets - the two major end-use markets for chemicals.

Chemical makers continue to shift their focus to attractive, growth markets in an effort to cut their exposure to business lines that are grappling with weak demand. They are also looking for cost synergy and enhanced operational scale through consolidations as exhibited by a wide swath of deals in the recent past. Strategic actions including cost management and productivity improvement remain the prime focus of these companies.

However, the industry remains roiled by a number of challenges including a still weak agriculture market, currency headwinds, weak demand in the energy space, Eurozone's feeble recovery and a sluggish Chinese economy.

Let's take a peek into three chemical companies that are slated to report their fourth-quarter results on Feb 21.

Westlake Chemical CorporationWLK will report results ahead of the bell. It has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 75 cents. The company holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), which coupled with a 0.00% ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter .

The company beat estimates in two of the trailing four quarters while missed twice. The average positive surprise over this period is 4.48%.

Westlake Chemical is expected to continue to benefit from healthy demand for olefins and vinyls products, supported by improving consumer spending. However, the company expects a major turnaround at its Lake Charles vinyls facility to unfavorably impact earnings in the fourth quarter. The company is also exposed to pricing pressure which may continue to weigh on its margins. (Read more: Westlake Chemical Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards? )

Westlake Chemical Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Westlake Chemical Corporation Price and EPS Surprise | Westlake Chemical Corporation Quote

Ecolab Inc.ECL will report earnings numbers ahead of the bell. The company has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand $1.28. We caution against Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) going into the earnings announcement especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

The company beat estimates in two of the trailing four quarters while missed once and reported in line on the other occasion. In this timeframe, it delivered an average positive surprise of 0.13%.

Ecolab's large base of recurring revenues, industry-leading technologies and excellent field service are significant drivers. However, the company faces headwinds from unfavorable currency swings and the impact of the Venezuelan deconsolidation. (Read more: Ecolab: What's in the Cards this Earnings Season? )

Ecolab Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Ecolab Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Ecolab Inc. Quote

Innophos Holdings, Inc.IPHS will report after the close. The company has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand 45 cents. The company has a Zacks Rank #4.

The company beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters while it missed in one occasion. The average negative surprise over this period is 11.33%.

You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Innophos Holdings, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Innophos Holdings, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Innophos Holdings, Inc. Quote

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Ecolab Inc. (ECL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Innophos Holdings, Inc. (IPHS): Free Stock Analysis Report

Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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.


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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