Is Huntsman a Good Value Stock to Own in 2021?

NYSE: HUN | Huntsman Corporation  News, Ratings, and Charts

HUN – Huntsman Corporation (HUN) has managed to maintain its growth trajectory over the past year despite depressed demand. Even though its stock gained 35% in price over the past year, HUN is still trading at a discount compared to its peers. As the chemicals industry makes an anticipated V shaped recovery this year in tandem with the global economy, we think HUN should deliver significant returns.

Chemical manufacturer Huntsman Corporation (HUN) is known for its Polyurethanes and adhesives. It is the primary chemical supplier for many  renowned consumer goods companies, including  Procter & Gamble (PG) and Unilever N.V. (UL), as well as automotive giants such as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMWYY), commonly known as BMW, and General Motors Company (GM).

HUN’s stock maintained its momentum throughout the past year despite a performance dip by the broader chemical industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. HUN has gained 37.6% over the past year and 80.2% over the past nine months. However, the stock has declined slightly over the past month due to the economy’s delayed recovery.

Nevertheless, we believe HUN is well-positioned to advance further as the demand for chemical products picks up in the coming months. With plenty of remaining upside, the stock is currently trading at a discount to its peers, making it an ideal bet for value investors.

Here’s why I think HUN is a solid value pick:

Trading at a Discounted Valuation

In terms of forward p/e, HUN is currently trading at 8.32x, which is 59.8% lower than the industry average  20.68x. Its forward price/sales of 1.05x is 32.8% lower than the industry average  1.56x.

The company’s forward price/book and ev/sales ratios of 1.81x and 1.30x, respectively, compare favorably with relative industry averages.

Acquisitions Amid Rebounding Industry

On January 15, HUN acquired specialty chemical manufacturer Gabriel Performance Products for $250 million. This acquisition expands HUN’s market reach in the specialty chemicals industry, which is expected to gain traction this year. The move comes in the wake of the company’s sale of its  India-based consumer adhesive business in November  for $258 million to strengthen its liquidity position and balance sheet.

HUN’s strategies to expand its operations in a recovering economy position it well to augment its earnings. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates overall chemical production will increase 3.9% this year because  most industries will increase their demand during the economic recovery phase. The rebound will follow  a 3.7%  production decline by the industry in in 2020. ACC also  projects that  demand for specialty chemicals will  rise 2.4%, while the demand for basic chemicals is expected to witness a 5% rise.

Soaring Profitability

HUN’s trailing 12-month net income margin of 16.55% is significantly higher than the industry average  4.75%. Its trailing 12-month leveraged free cash flow of 18.99% is 115.6% higher than the industry average  8.81%. Moreover, the company’s trailing 12-month return on total assets of 12.28% compares favorably with the industry average  2.29%.

Price Target and Analyst Rating Reflect Potential Upside

HUN is currently trading 3.8% below its 52-week high of $29.41, which it hit on February 8. Analysts expect the stock to break out of this resistance level to hit  a three-year high of $31.76 soon, representing  a potential 10.7% upside.

The stock has an average broker rating of 1.45, indicating favorable analyst sentiment. Of 20 Wall Street analysts that rated the stock, five  rated it “Strong Buy” and 12 rated it “Buy”.

POWR Ratings Show Promise

HUN has an overall B rating, which equates to Buy in our proprietary POWR Ratings system. It has a B grade for  Value and Sentiment, which is reflected in its discounted valuation and favorable analyst sentiment. Analysts estimate the company’s earnings and revenue to rise 105.2% and 13.2%, respectively, in fiscal 2021.

HUN is ranked #51 of 95 stocks in the A-rated Chemicals industry. In addition to the grades I’ve highlighted, you can check out additional ratings for Momentum, Quality, Stability and Growth here.

The Chemicals industry has several other stocks with an overall rating of A or B. Click here to see them.

Bottom Line

Despite gaining 37.6% over the past year, HUN has more room to grow as the Chemicals industry makes a strong rebound in 2021. Given the company’s projected earnings, we think its stock price will hit  fresh highs this year, delivering substantial capital gains for investors.

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HUN shares were trading at $28.29 per share on Thursday afternoon, down $0.00 (0.00%). Year-to-date, HUN has gained 12.53%, versus a 4.35% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.


About the Author: Aditi Ganguly


Aditi is an experienced content developer and financial writer who is passionate about helping investors understand the do’s and don'ts of investing. She has a keen interest in the stock market and has a fundamental approach when analyzing equities. More...


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