Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $37.00 price target on the basic materials company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Earnings estimates for Huntsman for the fourth quarter have been decreasing over the past month. It benefits from its investment in downstream businesses and differentiated product innovation. It is committed to expand its downstream specialty and formulation businesses. It is also shifting its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) business from components to differentiated systems that have higher margins. Acquisitions are also expected to offer significant synergies. It remains focused on generating healthy cash flows and has a strong balance sheet. It is also committed to reduce debt using strong cash flows. However, the Advanced Materials unit remains exposed to softness in the aerospace market. The company is also facing challenges in automotive due to the chip shortage. Higher raw material costs are also likely to weigh on its margins.”
A number of other research firms have also commented on HUN. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on shares of Huntsman from $32.00 to $36.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, October 1st. Royal Bank of Canada upped their price objective on shares of Huntsman from $39.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 10th. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of Huntsman from $36.00 to $37.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 10th. KeyCorp upped their price objective on shares of Huntsman from $38.00 to $41.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Monday, January 10th. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Huntsman from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the company from $40.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Huntsman presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $41.92.
Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.15. Huntsman had a net margin of 10.12% and a return on equity of 18.10%. The company had revenue of $2.29 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.04 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.32 EPS. Huntsman’s revenue was up 51.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Huntsman will post 3.5 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 15th were issued a $0.188 dividend. This is an increase from Huntsman’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 14th. This represents a $0.75 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.97%. Huntsman’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.13%.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Huntsman by 0.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 21,080,892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $559,065,000 after buying an additional 153,607 shares during the last quarter. Starboard Value LP acquired a new position in Huntsman in the third quarter worth approximately $343,189,000. FMR LLC increased its holdings in Huntsman by 87.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,590,940 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $227,832,000 after buying an additional 4,002,588 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Huntsman by 24.6% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 7,314,372 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $216,437,000 after buying an additional 1,444,358 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in Huntsman by 7.0% in the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 5,423,168 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $160,471,000 after buying an additional 352,574 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.96% of the company’s stock.
Huntsman Corp. engages in the manufacturing of differentiated organic chemical products. It operates through the following segments: Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials, and Textile Effects. The Polyurethanes segment manufactures and markets polyurethane chemicals, including MDI products, PO, polyols, PG, TPU, aniline, and MTBE.
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