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Quaker Chemical's Growth Prospects Solid: Time to Buy?

On Jul 4, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Quaker Chemical Corporation KWR to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Going by the Zacks model, companies sporting a Zacks Rank #1 have strong chances of outperforming the broader market.

Market sentiments have been favoring Quaker Chemical for quite some time now, especially on the back of its financial performance and future prospects. Notably, in the last three months, the company’s shares have yielded nearly 6.25% return, outperforming the gain of 1.11% recorded by the Zacks categorized Chemicals Specialty industry.

Why the Upgrade?

Quaker Chemical’s first-quarter 2017 results were impressive, with a 12.38% positive earnings surprise. Profitability improved on the back of healthy volume growth as well as benefits realized from restructuring programs and cost-savings strategies. For 2017, the company anticipates increasing its earnings from the previous year driven by market share gains and synergistic benefits from acquired assets. The company’s shares rallied 1.42% since the results release on May 1.

Quaker Chemical anticipates gaining from its primary metals, metalworking and coatings businesses in the years ahead. Also, it is working diligently on improving its products portfolio, market penetration and services offered. For instance, in Apr 2017, the company agreed to combine forces with Houghton International Inc. The combined entity will have better penetration in the automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, metals, mining, machinery, marine, offshore and container industries. The transaction is likely to be completed in fourth-quarter 2017 or first-quarter 2018.  

Also, the company is committed toward boosting shareholder value. In May 2017, it increased quarterly dividend rate by 3%, this being its 41st hike since the commencement of dividend payments. Going forward, it targets a dividend payout ratio of roughly 30%.       

Over the last 60 days, the stock’s Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 3.6% to $4.95 for 2017 3.2% to $5.56 for 2018. Also, these estimates represent year-over-year growth of 7.6% for 2017 and 12.3% for 2018.

Other Stocks to Consider

Quaker Chemical Corporation has a market capitalization of $1.95 billion. Other stocks worth considering in the industry include Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. AXTA, Ingevity Corporation NGVT and KMG Chemicals, Inc. KMG. While Axalta Coating Systems sports a Zacks Rank #1, both Ingevity Corporation and KMG Chemicals carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Axalta Coating Systems’ financial performance has been impressive, with an average positive earnings surprise of 1.22% for the last four quarters. Also, earnings estimates for 2017 and 2018 have been revised upward, over the last 60 days.

Ingevity Corporation pulled off an average positive earnings surprise of 13.76% for the last four quarters. Its earnings are predicted to grow 12% in the next three to five years.

KMG Chemicals delivered an earnings surprise of 12.54% in the last quarter. Its earnings estimates for fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 have been revised upward, over the last 60 days.

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Quaker Chemical Corporation (KWR): Free Stock Analysis Report
KMG Chemicals, Inc. (KMG): Free Stock Analysis Report
Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. (AXTA): Free Stock Analysis Report
Ingevity Corporation (NGVT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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