Somewhere amidst profit-challenged chemical companies like DuPont
Unfortunately, "happy medium" doesn't necessarily mean great growth. Sure, sales were up 8% this quarter for this well-diversified specialty chemicals concern, but volume/mix was only up about 3%. What's more, profitability got squeezed somewhat, and earnings from continuing operations were up just 3%.
If you follow the likes of DuPont, PPG
Now, that's not to say that 2006 will be dismal, because I don't think it will be. Among other things, the company is planning on higher pricing to combat raw material costs. What's more, whether you're looking at Linear Technology
Unfortunately, that chip/circuit board/LCD-sensitive business is only a slice of a larger overall pie. The company itself is only shooting for low-single-digit revenue growth for next year, and even modestly generous cash flow growth assumptions don't get you to a target price too much beyond today's trading price. Although this company has a respectable track record with cash flow and pays a fair dividend, there are plenty of other fish in the sea at this point.
For more chemical Foolishness:
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).