Georgia Gulf, Olin, PPG Earnings Arouse Interest in Chemical Industry

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Includes: AXLL, OLN, PPG
by: Colin Peterson

Georgia Gulf Corporation (GGC) will be releasing Q3 financial results on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. ET, with a conference call the next morning at 10:00 a.m. ET. Olin (NYSE:OLN) announces earnings this Monday with a conference call on Tuesday.

The pair trade has been doing well. Since Oct 2, GGC is down 29% and OLN is down only 5%. I bought more OLN after the big dive it took Friday, having already shorted more GGC earlier this week.
I will be very curious to see the earnings results.
Competitor PPG Industries had their Q3 conference call last week. They were weighed down by their commodity chemicals operations (the segment that competes with GGC and OLN), which suffered a 43% y-o-y decrease in sales (page 7 of the investor presentation). This was the result of big price and volume declines. Year to date chemicals sales were down 32%, meaning that the commodity chemicals decline picked up in the third quarter (segment sales comparisons).
On the conference call, PPG said that they do see the electrochemical unit (ECU) pricing improving a bit so far during the fourth quarter.
GGC also amended their registration statement again. This is the fourth amendment - they already amended it two days ago. Previously I speculated that their motive for these amendments was to stall the SEC from making the registration statement effective. However, I notice that this statement has an opinion from law firm Jones Day dated Thursday (Oct 22) regarding the validity of the new shares. So maybe they were just waiting for that?
I may make the chemical industry a focus area of investing - I am planning to go through a pile of chemical industry books when I get the chance.