Huntsman (HUN) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has $33.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Huntsman has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year. Huntsman is well placed to gain from its actions to grow its downstream specialty and formulation businesses. The recent Demilec buyout is also expected to offer significant synergies. Moreover, Huntsman is focused on expanding its margins and generating strong free cash flows. It also remains committed to deleverage its balance sheet.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Citigroup increased their price target on shares of Huntsman from $42.50 to $43.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 11th. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Huntsman from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, May 29th. MED reissued a buy rating and set a $40.00 price target on shares of Huntsman in a report on Tuesday, May 1st. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Huntsman from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, April 24th. Finally, Nomura downgraded shares of Huntsman from a buy rating to a neutral rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $40.00 to $36.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 20th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $36.69.

Shares of Huntsman opened at $29.22 on Monday, according to Marketbeat. Huntsman has a 1 year low of $24.51 and a 1 year high of $36.09. The firm has a market cap of $7.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.13, a PEG ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 2.69. The company has a current ratio of 1.94, a quick ratio of 1.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.19. Huntsman had a net margin of 8.98% and a return on equity of 27.32%. The firm had revenue of $2.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.17 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.57 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 18.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Huntsman will post 3.2 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.1625 per share. This represents a $0.65 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 14th. Huntsman’s payout ratio is 26.21%.

Huntsman declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 23rd that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the basic materials company to purchase up to 13.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Huntsman news, VP J Kimo Esplin sold 16,106 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.69, for a total transaction of $526,505.14. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 393,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,878,977.37. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 19.00% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. purchased a new position in Huntsman during the first quarter valued at $123,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd lifted its stake in shares of Huntsman by 383.2% in the first quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd now owns 4,803 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 3,809 shares in the last quarter. KBC Group NV purchased a new position in shares of Huntsman in the first quarter worth about $155,000. Jump Trading LLC purchased a new position in shares of Huntsman in the fourth quarter worth about $205,000. Finally, MML Investors Services LLC purchased a new position in shares of Huntsman in the fourth quarter worth about $208,000. 79.09% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Huntsman

Huntsman Corporation, through its subsidiary, Huntsman International LLC, manufactures and sells differentiated organic chemical products worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials, and Textile Effects. The Polyurethanes segment offers polyurethane chemicals, including methyl diphenyl diisocyanate, polyols, thermoplastic polyurethane, propylene oxide, and methyl tertiary-butyl ether products.

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