Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE:AXTA), FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC) and Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) are upgraded at KeyBanc on Wednesday, which said it expects U.S. chemicals companies to report mostly strong Q2 results followed by a “tougher” H2.
KeyBanc raised its rating on Axalta (AXTA) to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $30 price target, saying it sees evidence of moderating to declining raw material cost headwinds.
While the bank sees downside risk to the company’s volumes, it expects price/cost improvement to keep earnings largely stable in coming quarters.
FMC (FMC) was raised to Overweight with a $122 PT, as KeyBanc expects price/cost to improve in 2023, while the demand for the company’s crop protection products “remains among the healthiest across our chemicals coverage.”
Albemarle (ALB) was upgraded to Sector Weight from Underweight, citing continued strength in lithium demand driven by rapid adoption of electric vehicles.
KeyBanc also reaffirmed its Overweight rating on Corteva (CTVA) on anticipated strength in the seed business through 2023.
Goldman Sachs recently warned lithium prices had peaked and will go into reverse this year as supply from unconventional new sources overwhelms demand.