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Air Products (APD) Starts New Facility in Eastern China

Air Products and Chemicals Inc.’s APD new plant in the Pukou Economic Development Zone (PKEDZ), Nanjing, Eastern China, has come onstream. The plant will supply ultra-high purity gases to customer in the park. In addition to this, the facility provides liquid nitrogen to merchant customers in and around Nanjing.
Established as a state-level high-tech park, PKEDZ is growing into a hub for advanced manufacturing sectors including integrated circuit (IC), new materials and bio-medicine. Over the past decade, Air Products has already established a strong foothold in the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park (NCIP) which is only 35 kilometers away from PKEDZ. The company has three large air separation units serving customers in NCIP and across Nanjing through pipelines and various other supply modes.
The fast-paced development of China's IC industry is driven by a major government initiative launched in 2014 with a huge amount of funding to advance its domestic electronics manufacturing industries. High-quality industrial gases are witnessing strong demand on the back of several industrial clusters that have emerged across the country.
Air Products has underperformed the industry it belongs to over the last six months. The company’s shares have moved up 13% over this period, compared with roughly 15.9% gain recorded by its industry.
Air Products expects adjusted earnings per share of $1.60-$1.70 for first-quarter fiscal 2018, up 9-16% from the year-ago quarter. For fiscal 2018, Air Products expects adjusted earnings per share of $6.85-$7.05, up 9-12% year over year.
Air Products has a strong project backlog and benefits from actions to cut operational costs. Moreover, strategic investments in high-return projects, new business deals and acquisitions are expected to drive results in fiscal 2018.
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Price and Consensus

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Price and Consensus | Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Air Products currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Kronos Worldwide Inc. KRO, Koppers Holding Inc. KOP 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.

Kronos Worldwide has expected long-term earnings growth of 5%. Its shares have gained 128.3% year to date.

Koppers has expected long-term earnings growth of 18%. Its shares have rallied 23.3% year to date.

Westlake Chemical has expected long-term earnings growth of 10.6%. Its shares have moved up 75.8% year to date.

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