Dow Targets High Pigment Prices With Resins
Sep10

Dow Targets High Pigment Prices With Resins

Today, a story I wrote on the on fortunes of the TiO2 market appears in the current edition of C&EN. TiO2 is the white pigment that gives paint its hiding power. If you ever labored applying coat after coat of white paint on a wall in vain trying to cover up a red finish that refuses to die with dignity, then the manufacturer of the paint you have chosen probably skimped on the TiO2. (It isn’t your fault. Actually, it is, you...

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DuPont Revises 2011 Guidance

DuPont has reduced its 2011 earnings-per-share guidance by a dime, down to a range of $3.87 – $3.95. In the company’s press release CEO Ellen J. Kullman said something somewhat disconcerting: “We are seeing slower growth in certain segments during the fourth quarter, driven by economic uncertainty. This uncertainty is contributing to ongoing conservative cash flow management in some supply chains.” Inventory drawdowns are very...

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Oxiteno Considering Bio-based Ethylene Glycol

I just came back from Buenos Aires, where I attended the annual petrochemical meeting put on by APLA, Latin America’s main chemical trade group. The meeting is a great place to connect with chemical executives from the region. At the event, I ran into Pedro Wongtschowski, the CEO of Brazilian energy and chemical conglomerate Ultrapar. Oxiteno, the company’s chemical arm, makes ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, ethoxylates, and...

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Cytec Examines “Options” For Coatings Resins
Oct25

Cytec Examines “Options” For Coatings Resins

Cytec Industries CEO Shane Fleming dropped an “O” bomb on Cytec’s coatings resins business during a conference call last week. “We are committed to maximizing value creation in this segment and will take the decisions necessary to do so,” he said. “We are currently reviewing all options for this business and we will provide a further update on our plans no later than our earnings guidance on our fourth quarter conference call.”...

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Notes On Dow’s Investor Day

Yesterday Dow held its annual investor day. The main theme was that the pieces were in place for strong earnings growth. In an interview after his presentation, CEO Andrew Liveris complained that the company is still being pigeonholed unfairly as a commodity chemical company by Wall Street. The post-recession peak for Dow shares, early this past May, was more than $42. Now they are trading in the low 20s. I am writing a feature story...

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Bad Day On Wall Street, Especially For Huntsman

The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 513 point, 4.3% decline was bad yesterday. Huntsman Corp’s $5.58, 30.5% decline was even worse. (There is no typo in the preceding sentence.) Such declines among large chemical companies are pretty rare. In fact, they mostly happen to target companies of acquisition attempts that go up in smoke. Huntsman has actually had similar declines. One was in June 2008, when Hexion reneged on its acquisition...

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