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Oil Prices Surge, Plastic Stocks Poised to Become Profitable Investments



Key Points
As oil prices make new quarterly highs, industries whose margins are dependent on these price swings are sure to go on a discount. Investors can look into the plastics and specialty chemicals space for attractive deals today. 
These two stocks behave differently but have caught the same bear virus; these reasonable entry points will allow investors to lock in a double-digit upside return potential. 
Industry-leading profitability at a discount is the play you can consider for these trends. 
5 stocks we like better than LyondellBasell Industries
The price per barrel of oil has risen by an astonishing 13.5% during the past month, stemming from a push on both sides of the market equation. The push comes from increasing demand in the United States and China and a tightening output supply on the part of OPEC, who just announced further cuts recently.
According to the past quarter’s ISM Manufacturing PMI reports, the petroleum industry stands alone in delivering a whole quarter (three consecutive months) of expansion across the board. Following this development, investors should not be surprised to see rising oil prices. 
Taking the attention away from oil for a moment, specific industries are set to feel the aftermath effects of these price dynamics, especially regarding their input costs and demand.
One industry heavily dependent on where the prices of oil go is plastics and specialty chemicals, which is why investors should focus on these two stocks, which are being discounted today despite an upcoming bottoming in the industry.
Westlake Corporation 
Despite posting some contractions in its latest quarterly financials, Westlake Corporation NYSE: WLK is one stock where markets are already beginning to price in the adverse effects of higher oil prices and lower demand.
A 27% contraction in revenues is understandable once investors realize that most of Westlake’s sales depend on residential real estate activity, which uses Westlake products to finish ongoing projects.
These cyclical contractions in real estate stocks, stemming from higher mortgage costs, are driving Westlake’s demand side of the equation lower. On the other side of the spectrum, margins are declining due to higher input costs caused by the rise in oil prices.Westlake’s stock chart will reveal an 8.8% decline over the past month, which almost mirrors the rise in oil during the same period. As the market gets deeper into bearish sentiment for this company, investors considering a purchase are digging themselves into even higher upside potential.
Analysts are landing on a consensus price target of $127.7 a share, where the stock needs to rise by 2.2% to close this gap. However, investors can wait for the downside momentum to exhaust itself and look for this entry-level instead.
Taking Wall Street’s definition of a bear market, known as a 20% retracement from recent highs, investors can mark these prices for Westlake stock as significant liquidity likely to be injected. Westlake’s recent high of $138 will make a 20% retracement fall toward the $110 level.

This is important for those investors on the fence since they can now buy the stock at cheaper levels than insiders thought it would be cheap enough for them to buy. 
Knowing that the residential real estate market is set to rebound eventually, as well as a likely event that would bring oil to more affordable levels, investors can rest assured in the eventual pivot to the upside to the tune of double-digits.
LyondellBasell Industries 
Here is another story that will likely follow Westlake, though the stock chart has taken longer to crack its pullback. LyondellBasell Industries NYSE: LYB is one company whose products are also affected by oil prices and real estate demand, though it has one advantage.
Sales for LyondellBasell are spread across many other countries and regions, unlike Westlake’s sole focus on the North American markets. This revenue diversification may be one of the factors helping the stock remain near its all-time high prices while Westlake declines more aggressively.
However, as markets tend to treat most stocks within a sector as equals, there is still a possibility that LyondellBasell stock will decline.
Should the pullback come to this name, analyst price targets would rise from today’s 1% upside to a more attractive figure; the question is, at which price will this be so?
Following the same ‘bear market’ strategy presented for Westlake, investors can take LyondellBasell’s recent high of $101.4 a share and apply a 20% discount, bringing them to a level of $81.1 a share. While this seems like a big move, the company’s financials may give markets a reason to make this happen.
A 56% contraction in earnings per share sticks out like a sore thumb in the latest quarterly results, and all else being equal, the stock should have followed a similar decline, considering that EPS typically drives stock prices. Markets are in denial, but investors can rest assured that the discount is coming.
So, why would you consider buying a couple of contracting businesses? Apart from these only being standard cyclical pivots, these are two of the industry’s gems.

A famous value investor out there emphasizes his strategy of buying above-average ROIC at below-average valuations. An average P/E of 18.3x would place the industry above Westlake and LyondellBasell’s 10.4x and 12.6x multiples, fulfilling the pillars for this strategy.Before you consider LyondellBasell Industries, you’ll want to hear this.financehubusa keeps track of Wall Street’s top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. financehubusa has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on… and LyondellBasell Industries wasn’t on the list.While LyondellBasell Industries currently has a “Hold” rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.View The Five Stocks Here financehubusa’s analysts have just released their top five short plays for September 2023. Learn which stocks have the most short interest and how to trade them. Click the link below to see which companies made the list.Get This Free Report

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