Shares of The Chemours Company (CC 1.82%) dropped over 20% in July, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. There wasn't any major news, but investors were certainly not looking forward to second-quarter 2019 results, due to be released on the first day of August. The global titanium dioxide (TiO2) industry is on the cyclical downswing, which figures to be not much fun for the TiO2 leader.
Turns out, the pessimism was warranted. Chemours reported significant headwinds for its TiO2 segment. Making matters worse, the business saw sales of an important refrigerant product collapse due to illegal imports into Europe. That swiped away all of the benefit of getting its state-of-the-art factory in Texas running more smoothly. Shares have lost 50% since the end of June through the first part of August.
CEO Mark Vergnano summed up the Q2 performance by stating, "we are clearly not satisfied with these results." In that time span, Chemours reported an 11% year-over-year decline in revenue for its fluoroproducts division, which includes its Opteon refrigerants, and a 34% decline in revenue for its TiO2 segment.
The dismal performance resulted in a 67% decline in net income in the first half of 2019 versus the year-ago period. Chemours ended June with $630 million in cash, roughly half of what it entered the year with. Simply put, investors aren't too optimistic about the state of operations right now.
Chemours finds itself in a tough position. Its core TiO2 segment is facing commodity and cyclical pressures, while its fluoroproducts division faces competitive pressures and questions over the safety of the chemistry involved. Until the business proves it's capable of weathering the storm, investors might want to tread lightly with the stock.