Stephen Simpson, CFA
Long only, growth at reasonable price, value, research analyst

Axiall Stuck In A Commodity Tug Of War

I have little use for beta as a measure of risk, but it is a good measure of volatility and Axiall's (NYSE:AXLL) beta of over 3.0 (against a comp group of Westlake (NYSE:WLK), Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), and Olin (NYSE:OLN) that ranges from 1.1 (Olin) to 2.4 (Westlake)) underscores how vulnerable these shares are to prevailing prices and sentiment for caustic soda, natural gas, ethylene, and so forth. That leads me to conclude that the market moves these shares a great deal more on the basis of what is happening right now in the chemical markets and much less on the basis of what could happen as the company reaps further synergies...

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