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Ashland Launches Two New Hydrophobic Polymers-Based Defoamers

Zacks Equity Research

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. ASH recently introduced two new effective foam control agents — Drewplus L- 3500 and L-3510 — for the water-based industrial coatings market. The new foam control agents provide balance between compatibility and activity by controlling micro as well as macro foam in high shear spray applied coatings.

Per Ashland, the new dissolution defoamers improves performance in terms of micro foam reduction, compatibility in paint films and better clarity. They also have an overall improved cost efficiency.

Moreover, the new foam control agents are formulated with novel hydrophobic polymers, which is very efficient in preventing foam during production and controlling foam during and after the application.

Shares of Ashland have declined 10.3% in the past year against the industry’s 8.3% rise.

Ashland’s adjusted earnings per share rose 8% year over year in fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 to 77 cents. However, the figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 98 cents.

Going forward, the company expects demand dynamics in first-quarter fiscal 2020 to be similar to what was witnessed in the fiscal fourth quarter. Ashland sees limited improvement in Oral Care and Pharmachem businesses in the near term. The company expects pricing and raw material movements to remain balanced. Moreover, the temporary shutdown of the company’s Nanjing plant is expected to affect performance in the fiscal first quarter.

Ashland has completed its cost-reduction program. The company reduced costs by $115 million on a run-rate basis as of Sep 30, 2019. It expects to surpass $120 million run-rate by the end of 2019. The company envisions the carryover impact from the program in fiscal 2020 to be nearly $25 million of selling, general and administrative (SG&A) cost savings.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Ashland currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd KL, Franco-Nevada Corporation FNV and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited AEM, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kirkland Lake Gold has an expected earnings growth rate of 96.3% for the current year. The company’s shares have surged 151.6% in the past year.

Franco-Nevada has projected earnings growth rate of 46.2% for 2019. The company’s shares have rallied 40.2% in a year.

Agnico Eagle has an estimated earnings growth rate of 168.6% for the current year. Its shares have moved up 62.5% in the past year.

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