Huntsman stock sinks toward 13-month low after J.P. Morgan analyst recommends selling


Shares of Huntsman Corp. HUM, +1.88% slumped 3.1% toward a 13-month low in morning trading Tuesday, after J.P. Morgan turned bearish on the chemical products company, citing concerns over slowing demand. Analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas cut his rating to underweight, after being at neutral for at least the past 2 1/2 years, and dropped his stock price target to $25 from $30. Zekauskas said his downgrade comes after peers Dow Inc. DOW, -2.09% and Eastman Chemical Co. EMN, -2.48% issued third-quarter profit warnings, amid little if any demand growth in China, contracting volumes in Europe and signs that U.S. end-market demand is slowing. In addition, he noted the “general downward movement” in chemical prices. “Volume shortfalls are exacerbated by chemical customers reducing inventories in expectation of weaker demand prospects,” Zekauskas wrote in a note to clients. “Chemical customers examine the price and demand trends of today and think that it is better to buy their chemicals at lower prices tomorrow.” The stock has dropped 11.7% over the past three months while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.92% has gained 4.8%.

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