Air Products and Chemicals upgrades China center
On June 6, Air Products and Chemicals (APD) announced that it had upgraded its Asia Technology Center, which is located in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Shanghai, China. The upgrade is expected to help the center’s research and development capabilities. This upgrade is also expected to support the region’s rapid growth with its advanced applications technologies.
The upgrades include a food laboratory to improve food quality, a water laboratory for efficient water treatment, advanced equipment for welding and combustion, and electronics packaging. The center holds seven laboratories that serve a variety of industries in the region, including chemicals and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, glassmaking, and advanced electronics.
Wilbur Mok, APD’s President for Industrial Gases – Asia, noted, “Asia is a strategic and high-growth market for Air Products.” He continued, “The upgraded Asia Technology Center speaks volumes about our long-term commitment to bringing innovative and sustainable solutions to the region’s unique and pressing needs with speed.
“We will continue to work closely with our business partners and customers to accelerate innovation and technology development for energy, environment and emerging markets. Together, we strive to make people’s lives better.”
APD’s stock price update
Air Products and Chemicals (APD) stock gained 3.0% and closed at $168.51 for the week ended June 8. As a result of this gain, APD traded 2.5% above its 100-day moving average price of $164.37, indicating a prevailing upward trend in its stock.
APD extended its YTD (year-to-date) gain to 2.7%. Its peers Praxair (PX) and Eastman Chemical (EMN) have gained 3.3% and 17.4%, respectively. International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) has declined ~17.2% YTD.
Analysts are bullish on APD stock and have projected a target price of $184.40. This forecast implies a return potential of 9.4% from its June 8 closing price. APD’s 14-day relative strength index (or RSI) of 60 indicates that the stock is neither overbought nor oversold.
Investors can indirectly hold APD via the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB), which invested 5.5% of its portfolio in Air Products and Chemicals on June 8. XLB gained ~3.0% for the week.