Huntsman’s fourth-quarter results, excluding the settlement, probably will mark the bottom of the industry contraction, because demand is suffering from weak end markets as well as customers’ decisions to use up inventories, Peter Huntsman said. First-quarter sales should improve from the current period, with “genuine” demand gains possible in the second half, he said.
Huntsman also will benefit next year from lower costs for petroleum-derived raw materials, such as ethylene and benzene, he said. Huntsman each year buys 200 million gallons of benzene, the price of which has dropped from about $4.80 a gallon to about $1 in less than two months, he said.
This stock has bottomed out and should outperform the market over next two quarters. Forget about Appollo and the banks, that is a distraction that is now in the past. The settlments minimize any negative balance sheet effect.