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Chemical Stocks Reporting Q1 Earnings on May 9: IFF, PAH

The first-quarter earnings season in its last leg and we can now say that the surprise trend has been upbeat, with more and more companies racking up positive surprises on both earnings and revenues, thanks to low estimates and a weaker dollar.  

Per our latest Earnings Trend report, out of the 374 S&P 500 members (around 75% of the index’s total membership) that have reported as of May 4, 71.4% of them have beaten earnings estimates with 56.4% beating on the revenue expectations. Despite this positive trend, total earnings for these companies are down 7.5% year over year on a 1.9% decline in sales.

First-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are now expected to dip 7.1% year over year on 1.1% lower revenues with the Energy sector being a major drag. While the first quarter showcases lack of growth, the picture is expected to improve in the second quarter with growth returning to the positive territory in the second half of 2016.  

In this write-up, we take a peek at a couple of chemical companies that are slated to report their quarterly number next week. The chemical industry falls under the broader Basic Materials sector which is among the sectors that have seen double-digit earnings declines in the first quarter based on the earnings scorecard as of May 4. Earnings for the sector participants in the S&P 500 index are down 14.9% from the same period last year on 9% lower revenues.

The sector is also among 8 of the 16 Zacks sectors that are expected to see negative earnings growth in the first quarter with an earnings decline of 15.5% on 8.5% lower sales.

Chemical makers are gaining from strategic measures including expansion into high-growth markets, aggressive cost management and productivity actions as well as acquisitions. However, the industry is not devoid of challenges as a still weak agriculture market, currency headwinds, weak demand in the energy space (given depressed oil prices) and slowdown in China continue to weigh on the performance of these companies.

A host of chemical stocks including industry heavyweights such as DuPont DD, Dow Chemical DOW, LyondellBasell LYB, Air Products APD, Eastman Chemical EMN and PPG Industries PPG have already reported their results with many posting a handy earnings beat. Let’s take a look at two chemical companies that are gearing up to report their quarterly numbers on May 9.

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. IFF, which is slated to report its first-quarter results after the bell on May 9, has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate both stand at $1.41. While unfavorable currency swings are expected to affect its results, the company should gain from its strategic growth initiatives such as acquisitions, product portfolio expansion and business expansion in emerging markets.

The company holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), which coupled with a 0.00% ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult. The company outperformed estimates in three of the four trailing quarters while lagging once, resulting in an average negative earnings surprise of 0.72%. (Read more: International Flavors & Fragrances Q1 Earnings Peek)

Platform Specialty Products Corporation PAH will report its first-quarter numbers after the bell on May 9. It has an Earnings ESP of -10.00% as the Most Accurate Estimate stands at 9 cents while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 10 cents. The company remain exposed to currency headwinds and weakness in certain agricultural end markets, which may affect first-quarter results.

The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which coupled with a negative ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult. The company missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average negative surprise of 23.12%.

Stay tuned! Check back later for our earnings coverage of these stocks.

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