Methanex Touches Fresh 52-Week High: What's Driving It?

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Shares of Methanex CorporationMEOH scaled a fresh 52-week high of $47.43 on Jan 6, before retracing to close the day at $47.15.

Methanex has a market cap of roughly $4.2 billion and average volume of shares traded in the last three months is around 629.9K. The company has an expected long-term EPS growth of around 15%.

Methanex has outperformed the Zacks categorized Chemicals-Diversified industry in the past three months, aided by its better-than-expected results in the third-quarter of 2016. The company's shares have gained 29.5% in this period, compared with an 8.1% gain recorded by the industry.

Driving Factors

Methanex is seeing healthy global demand for methanol. Demand fundamentals for methanol remain healthy despite the global economic weakness and a few near-term challenges. Demand has been primarily driven by both traditional derivatives and energy-related applications in Asia, particularly in China.

Methanex estimates an around 10% year over year growth in total methanol demand (to roughly 16.8 million tons) for third-quarter 2016. It saw solid chemical demand in the quarter, buoyed by strong demand from conventional chemical applications.

Methanex has completed the relocation of its Chilean plants to the U.S. Gulf Coast at a site in Geismar, LA. The Geismar project offers excellent return potential. The company gains from competitive natural gas prices and an excellent business environment in Geismar with extensive infrastructure and significant methanol demand nearby. The company anticipates executing the methanol project with significantly less capital. The Geismar project is expected to create significant value for its shareholders and meaningfully contribute to cash generation.

Methanex has forged a ten-year supply pact with Oklahoma-based natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Under the agreement, Chesapeake is providing natural gas for the Geismar plant. The agreement lowers Methanex's exposure to short-term methanol price changes.

The company also remains committed to boost shareholder returns leveraging its strong liquidity position. Methanex returned $25 million in cash to shareholders in the form of dividend in the third quarter of 2016.

Methanex carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Methanex Corporation Price

Methanex Corporation Price | Methanex Corporation Quote

Other Stocks to Consider

Other well-placed companies in the chemical space include The Chemours Company CC , Kronos Worldwide, Inc. KRO and FMC Corporation FMC . You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Chemours carries a Zacks Rank #1 and has an expected earnings growth of around 60.1% for the current year.

Kronos, also a Zacks Rank #1 stock, has an expected earnings growth of around 261.5% for the current year.

FMC holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has an expected long-term growth of around 10.8%.

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Methanex Corporation (MEOH): 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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