Exports, caustic soda boost prospects for US Westlake - analyst

14 March 2012 15:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US Westlake has benefitted from increased exports and better caustic soda margins, an ianalyst said on Wednesday.

“With greater reliance on exports and tighter caustic markets, we are likely to see improved earnings support from the vinyl segment,” said Dahlman Rose investment analyst Charles Neivert in a report. “Additionally, a warmer winter may give earnings an earlier-than-expected boost.”

Housing is a major end market for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and a warmer winter should increase construction.

Meanwhile in a report on Georgia Gulf, Neivert said Westlake’s current unsolicited bid for Georgia Gulf of $35/share will likely be withdrawn.

“We believe the [Westlake] bid still offers some support for the shares, but it remains inadequate in our opinion,” the report said. “We believe that [Westlake] is more likely to withdraw its offer as opposed to raising it and if that were to happen, we would view any major pull-back as a buying opportunity.”

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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