Axiall raised to Buy at BofA on improved outlook for PVC resin market

Axiall (AXLL +1.9%) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a $52 target price at BofA/Merrill, which expects price increases in the PVC resin market more than offsetting potential weakness in caustic soda over the next 12-24 months.

After $0.06/lb. in price increases in January-February, the firm sees PVC prices rising another $0.02-$0.03/lb in March; the PVC hikes also are translating into higher prices in the downstream building products business.

BofA views AXLL as a beneficiary of a strong construction season in 2014 and further normalization in U.S. residential and nonresidential construction in 2015-16.

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