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Chemical Finance Digest, Aug. 8-12
2:53 PM MDT | August 15, 2011 | By VINCENT VALK
Topping the headlines last week, the remaining earnings news was mostly positive. Momentive Specialty Chemicals posted a profit, though Performance Materials posted a loss. Nova's profits increased five-fold, while Brenntag's rose 75%.
While the stock market has been up-and-down over the past couple of weeks, the chemicals M&A market remains strong, experts say. In other M&A news, Lonza has extended the expiration date of its offer to acquire Arch Chemicals to September 12.
No new debt was issued, though Moody's raised PolyOne's credit rating to 'Ba2' from 'Ba3.' The agency also changed Huntsman's credit outlook to positive from stable. "The positive outlook reflects Huntsman's strong liquidity profile and improving credit metrics evidenced, in part, by the lack of sizeable near term debt maturities until 2014." says Moody's analyst Bill Reed. "Improvements in key end markets have helped bolster the company's cash flow generation and should result in meaningful debt reduction over the
next 12-18 months."
In macroeconomic news, U.S. retail sales rose 0.5%, the second consecutive monthly gain. However, equity market volatility "will not be good for confidence and spending going forward," says IHS Global Insight economist Leslie Levesque. "U.S. consumers are getting very nervous."
The week ahead will see U.S. industrial production numbers released on Tuesday. Consensus is for an 0.5% increase, after a even-more-modest 0.2% increase in June.