Chemical maker FMC Corporation (FMC) has landed a technical development and distribution deal with leading soil and plant health technology solutions provider – Actagro LLC.
Under the deal, FMC Corp. will be the exclusive marketer and distributor of Actagro organic acid-based soil and plant health nutritional products in Asia-Pacific. The company will also add Actagro technology solutions to its already extensive portfolio in that region.
Actagro will offer its comprehensive line of current products technical support to FMC Corp. to effectively introduce the Actagro organic acid technology and its benefits to farmers and dealers in Asia-Pacific. The introduction of Actagro’s unique product line will enhance the ability of the local farmers to produce higher quality, better yielding crops.
The companies will also work together to develop new products as required to address crop and soil needs in the region. The partnership will leverage the strength of FMC Corp.’s portfolio and distribution networks and its strong customer relationships in Asia-Pacific.
FMC Corp.’s earnings for second-quarter 2014 missed expectations and profit slip 8% year over year as it took higher charges in the quarter. Its sales, however, rose by double-digits on gains across agriculture and health and nutrition businesses. The company’s agriculture division delivered a healthy performance in the reported quarter after being hit by harsh winter weather in the first quarter.
FMC Corp. expects results in its agriculture business in the back half of 2014 to be driven by strength in Latin America. New products and market access investments are also expected to boost results in this business. Moreover, growth in health and nutrition is expected to be led by strong demand in health markets, omega-3 products and texture and stability solutions in nutrition markets.
FMC Corp. is making progress with its “Vision 2015" strategy, a road map for future. As part of the plan, the company has expended its market position and strengthened its portfolio. It has returned more than $1 billion of cash to shareholders since the beginning of the plan.
FMC Corp. is a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) stock.
Other chemical stocks worth considering include LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB), Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBII) and Celanese Corporation (CE). While both LyondellBasell and Marrone Bio Innovations hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Celanese carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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