FMC Corp. (FMC) Up 29% In 6 Months: What's Driving The Stock?

Shares of FMC Corporation FMC have rallied around 29% in the last six months. The company has also outperformed its industry’s gain of roughly 17% to over the same time frame.

FMC Corp. has a market cap of roughly $12.8 billion and average volume of shares traded in the last three months is around 1,094.6K. The company has an expected long-term earnings per share growth of 11.3%, higher than the industry average of 10.3%.

Let’s take a look into the factors that are driving this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

Driving Factors

FMC Corp. is gaining from its strategic investments, acquisitions and efforts to expand its market position and strengthen its portfolio. Upbeat prospects for the company’s Lithium unit have also provided a boost to its shares.

FMC Corp. is witnessing strong momentum in its Lithium unit. The company is expanding its lithium hydroxide production capacity. It is executing this expansion in three phases. The move is based on the growing demand for electric vehicles.

FMC Corp. has executed its Phase I lithium hydroxide expansion on time and budget, achieving 9,000 metric tons of production run rate in September 2017. The Phase 2 expansion is expected to add another 12,000 metric tons of capacity. The company expects its lithium business to deliver strong earnings growth in 2017.

Acquisitions are also adding strength to the company’s agricultural business. The acquisition of a major portion of DuPont's Crop Protection business has provided a significant growth platform for FMC’s Agricultural Solutions unit. The buyout significantly increases the company’s presence in Asia and Europe.

FMC Corp., in November, raised its earnings view for 2017 and now sees adjusted earnings in the band of $2.59-$2.69 per share for the year (up from the prior view of $2.30 to $2.50 per share), which includes the impact of two months contribution from the DuPont Crop Protection acquisition.

FMC Corporation Price and Consensus

FMC Corporation Price and Consensus | FMC Corporation Quote

Other Stocks to Consider

Other top-ranked companies in the basic materials space include Koppers Holdings Inc. KOP, Kronos Worldwide, Inc. KRO and Westlake Chemical Corporation WLK, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Koppers has an expected long-term earnings growth of 18%. The stock has gained around 25% year to date.

Kronos has an expected long-term earnings growth of 5%. The stock has gained around 118% year to date.

Westlake has an expected earnings growth of 10.6% for the current year. Its shares are up roughly 87% year to date.

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