April 26, 2011
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of specialty chemicals manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA ) rose more than 10% in early trading and remain up 9% as of this writing after first-quarter earnings trounced expectations.
So what: This isn’t a perfect growth story. Earnings declined 4% from $0.76 per share in last year’s Q1 to $0.72 in the just-completed first quarter. Revenue improved 13.1% to $695.7 million. Analysts had been expecting Grace to report $0.54 in per-share profit, Yahoo! Finance reports.
Now what: Credit refineries for the outperformance. Demand for petroleum chemical additives produced by the Grace Davison division rose 26.1% during the quarter. Overall, the additives business saw a 16.7% increase in revenue. Construction products sales rose just 5.5%.
Either way, it’s a nice comeback for a company that only now is getting past bankruptcy troubles.
Interested in more info on W.R. Grace? Add it to your watchlist.