Wed, Sep. 2, 10:05 AM
- UBS upgrades Olin (OLN -2.5%) to Neutral from Sell, believing OLN will be supported by its ~4% dividend yield and cost savings potential given the upcoming Reverse Morris Trust with Dow Chemical's chlorine-based business, but downgrades peer Axiall (AXLL -4.7%) to Sell from Neutral.
- Although underlying fundamentals are challenged, UBS prefers OLN over AXLL on a relative basis since OLN has a 4% yield and AXLL pays no dividend, OLN should close its Reverse Morris Trust with Dow in early October, and AXLL is still the only major vinyls provider that is not back integrated to ethylene.
Tue, Aug. 11, 4:28 PM
Wed, Aug. 5, 5:40 PM
Tue, Aug. 4, 5:35 PM
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Mon, Jul. 6, 10:56 AM
- Axiall (AXLL +3.1%) says Paul Carrico has retired as President, CEO and a board member, effective immediately, with no explanation given.
- Timothy Mann Jr., executive VP of strategy, general counsel and secretary, will serve as interim President and CEO.
- Franklin Resources, which owns a 6% active stake in AXLL, has said it believes the company should be more aggressive in taking actions to increase stockholder value.
Tue, May 19, 5:13 PM
Wed, May 6, 11:18 AM
- The big drop this morning in Axiall (AXLL -9.4%) is attributed to comments on the company's conference call discussing yesterday's IRS ruling on publicly traded partnerships.
- AXLL says it is reviewing the IRS ruling but does not yet have an update on its private-letter ruling or the ultimate outcome of the rule-making process (Briefing.com).
- Yesterday, the IRS proposed new rules that would bar chemical manufacturers from forming MLPs; Westlake Chemical Partners (WLKP -14.2%) also is slammed for a second straight day, but WLK +2.4%.
Tue, May 5, 5:56 PM
- Westlake Chemicals (NYSE:WLK) and Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) fell sharply today after the IRS proposed new rules that would bar chemical manufacturers from forming MLPs but allow many energy-related companies to use the structure to raise money.
- Pipeline operators and other energy logistics firms have long structured themselves as MLPs to raise capital; newer partnerships, such as those that find and extract oil and natural gas or refine it into fuel also still would be allowed, as would many oilfield services providers that haul, treat, recycle or store the wastewater from oil and gas wells.
- But the IRS says petrochemical production does not qualify unless it is part of a larger refining operation, nor does production of timber products such as wood pulp and paper.
- In today's trade: WLK -5.2%, WLKP -9.9%, AXLL -3.6%, OLN -3.2%, DOW -0.5%.
Tue, May 5, 5:33 PM
Mon, May 4, 5:35 PM
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Thu, Apr. 30, 5:40 PM
Fri, Mar. 27, 3:27 PM
- In a dig at Third Point's Daniel Loeb, Dow Chemical (DOW +3.2%) CEO Andrew Liveris says his company's decisive move to shift out of the commodity chemicals business shows how “Dow continues to behave as our own best activist.”
- Dow's deal to sell its chlor-alkali business to Olin (OLN +18.2%) in exchange for $2B and a 50.5% stake in the smaller company will create the world’s largest chlorine producer with 5.7B tons/year of production and $1B in EBITDA.
- Citigroup’s P.J. Juvekar offers three reasons why the deal is good for shareholders: The chlor-alkali divestiture at 8x EBITDA is a great multiple for a commodity business, the Reverse Morris Trust deal makes it tax-free and a split-off will allow Dow to buy back its own shares efficiently - a similar move by PPG Industries was viewed very positively two years ago, and Dow will sell ethylene to OLN for 20 years and will receive an upfront payment of ~$400M.
- Dow may still get rid of its agricultural chemicals business, which does not have a lot in common with the rest of the business; with $7.3B in sales and almost $1B in EBITDA last year, the unit could be worth $10B.
- Juvekar says Axiall (AXLL +5%) also could benefit from the deal, seeing consolidation in the U.S. chlor-alkali industry as a positive, and OLN says it will look to optimize its expanded chlor-alkali asset base.
Mon, Mar. 23, 12:50 PM
- Olin (OLN -3.8%) is downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $25 price target at UBS, which says the sum of the parts argument for OLN following the Vista Outdoor spin is less compelling the higher the stock moves, and the firm believes channel inventory declines have not bottomed yet.
- While OLN made positive comments about the potential for a chlorine/caustic recovery on its Q4 earnings call, the sentiment was not echoed by competitors Axiall (AXLL -1.2%) and Westlake (WLK +0.5%), and Dow Chemical (DOW +0.1%) is selling its operations partly because of depressed results.
- UBS views chlor-alkali as a shale gas advantaged business, where supply has increased in recent years, plus the natural gas advantage has declined with the fall in oil prices.
Tue, Mar. 3, 4:46 PM
Mon, Feb. 23, 11:28 AM
- Axiall (AXLL +0.3%) is reiterated with a Neutral rating by Citigroup's P.J. Juvecar, who says last week's news that the company might turn one of its divisions into an MLP has overshadowed weakness elsewhere in the stock.
- The analyst points to a number of unknowns yet to be resolved surrounding an MLP: the IRS has slowed down its issuance of PLRs for new asset types; the timing of an IRS decision and the time frame over which an MLP could be formed are uncertain; investor appetite is questionable since there are no chlor-alkali MLPs in existence.
- Given the reservations, Juvecar also cuts his 2015-17 earnings estimates, citing weakness in chlorovinyls and aromatics along with higher maintenance spending.
Thu, Feb. 19, 10:46 AM
- Axiall (AXLL +3.2%) says during its Q4 earnings conference call that it has been studying the possibility of creating a Chlor-Alkali MLP "as an opportunity to access low-cost capital and generate shareholder value," and has filed a ruling request with the IRS to determine if Chlor-Alkali qualifies.
- AXLL saysit would finalize a feasibility study about the creation of an MLP if it receives a favorable ruling.
- AXLL also says it will move its investment decision on a cracker to Q1 to allow time for additional analysis and clarity.
- Earlier: Axiall beats by $0.03, misses on revenue
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