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Ashland (ASH) Rolls Out ISO 10993 Compliant PSA Platform

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. ASH recently launched a new water-based pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) platform, which is entirely compliant with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 10993 direct skin contact applications.

The latest product portfolio consists of seven highly competitive Aroset and Flexcrylacrylic PSAs developed for challenging applications. These seven PSAs grades have hit the markets and are ready to cater to ISO 10993 regulated application needs.

Ashland is highly optimistic about this rollout as it will allow new customers to enter into a mature market and grab a set of highly ambitious product offerings that can displace traditional ISO 10993 compliant PSAs.

The key attributes of this platform make these adhesives distinct and highly appealing. These adhesives have passed the ISO 10993 biomedical compatibility testing, serve as a competitive option for coaters/converters not able to service the market with traditional direct skin contact adhesives, have APEO (Alkylphenol Ethoxylate)-free options available and are compliant with CA Prop 65. They target a niche market while being utilized in more traditional applications such as paper labels and vinyl graphics. Other characteristics which make this platform highly attractive are its appealing cost structure, the various benefits of using water-based PSAs, and other sustainable attributes such as repulpability.

Shares of Ashland have gained 15.3% in the past year against the industry’s fall of 13.4%.

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In its last earnings calls, Ashland stated that it expects sales in the range of $2.25-$2.35 billion for fiscal 2022. It also anticipates adjusted EBITDA between $550 million and $570 million.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company expects underlying demand to remain strong and its pricing actions to cover the anticipated inflation. It also foresees persistent shipping challenges over the coming quarters. The company is committed to taking further measures to recover any additional cost inflation. It will also continue to proactively build inventories in major regions to mitigate the supply chain and shipping headwinds.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Albemarle Corporation ALB, Commercial Metals Company CMC and AdvanSix Inc. ASIX.

Albemarle, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has an expected earnings growth rate of 51.5% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Albemarle’s 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 32 cents in the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Albemarle beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 22.1%. ALB has rallied around 51.6% in a year.

Commercial Metals, flaunting a Zacks Rank #1, has a projected earnings growth rate of 62% for the current fiscal year. The consensus estimate for Commercial Metals’ current fiscal-year earnings has been revised upward by $1.06 in the past 60 days.

Commercial Metals beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters, missing once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.1%, on average. CMC has rallied around 63.5% in a year.

AdvanSix has a projected earnings growth rate of 7.4% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AdvanSix’s 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 16 cents in the past 60 days.

AdvanSix beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 46.9%. ASIX has rallied 67.9% in a year. It currently carries Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy).

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