Chemical Reactions for the Gurus

In his latest column for, Validea CEO John Reese takes a look at some chemical industry stocks that are attractive right now.

“Right now, chemical manufacturers have a couple major factors working in their favor,” Reese says. “First, there is the rise of ‘fracking’ in the U.S., which has made natural gas more abundant and cheaper. Natural gas is one of the key ingredients in a myriad of products made by chemical companies, and it’s also a major source of power that those companies use in creating their products. Cheap natural gas therefore can mean wide profit margins for many of these firms. In addition, as the nascent U.S. housing recovery continues, demand for many construction products that are created with the help of chemicals — paint, glass, and polyurethane, to name just a few — should continue to rise.”

Reese uses his Guru Strategies, each of which is based on the approach of a different investing great, to find some of the market’s most fundamentally sound chemical plays. Among the stocks he highlights: Illinois-based Stepan Company.