QUOTE AND NEWS
Globe Newswire  Oct 20  Comment 
Creation of the world's leading microbial control business Customers will benefit from innovative microbial control formulations based on a broad portfolio of registered and approved active ingredients Integration of Arch as new business sector
StreetInsider.com  Oct 18  Comment 
Visit StreetInsider.com at http://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/Franklin+Electric+%28FELE%29+To+Replace+Arch+Chemical+%28ARJ%29+In+S%26P+SmallCap+600/6862738.html for the full story.
Benzinga  Oct 17  Comment 
Franklin Electric (NASDAQ: FELE) will replace Arch Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: ARJ) in the S&P SmallCap 600 index after the close of trading on Wednesday, October 19. Arch Chemical is being acquired by Lonza Group in a deal expected to be completed soon...
StreetInsider.com  Aug 5  Comment 
Visit StreetInsider.com at http://www.streetinsider.com/Earnings/Arch+Chemicals%2C+Inc.+%28ARJ%29+Misses+Q2+EPS+Views%3B+Revs+Light/6689661.html for the full story.
Wall Street Journal  Jul 18  Comment 
The SEC has sued three Switzerland-based investment firms, accusing them of improperly trading shares of Arch Chemicals before the announcement that Arch would be acquired.
Globe Newswire  Jul 15  Comment 
BASEL, Switzerland, and NORWALK, Conn., July 15, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lonza Group Ltd (SIX:LONN) today announced that an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Lonza, LG Acquisition Corp., has commenced the previously announced offer to acquire all
Wall Street Journal  Jul 11  Comment 
Chemicals maker Lonza Group said it will buy U.S. biocides firm Arch Chemicals for $1.2 billion in cash to broaden the Switzerland-based firm's product portfolio, extend its emerging-markets footprint and improve its natural currency hedge.
Globe Newswire  Jun 28  Comment 
Friday, August 5, 2011 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time NORWALK, Conn., June 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A conference call to review Arch Chemicals' (NYSE:ARJ) second quarter 2011 results will be held on Friday, August 5, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. (ET) by
StreetInsider.com  May 18  Comment 
Visit StreetInsider.com at http://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/Arch+Chemicals+%28ARJ%29+Announces+New+%24375+Million+Five-Year+Credit+Facility/6517770.html for the full story.




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

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Arch Chemicals(NYSE:ARJ) is chemical company headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut in the USA. Arch Chemicals is a global biocides company with sales exceeding $1 billion dollars annually. ARJ has approximately 3,000 employees including their subsidiaries, and they have facilities in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. The Biocides Company takes pride in manufacturing products which they believe make people's lives better, safer and healthier.

Business Overview

Arch was purchased by Lonza in October, 2011 and was formerly a global biocides company that manufactured chemistry-based and related solutions to destroy and control the growth of harmful microbes. The key of their global growth is innovation. The company focuses in water treatment, hair and skin care products, wood treatment, preservation and protection applications such as paints and building products, as well as health and hygiene applications. Their main business is the operation of Biocides Products(Treatment Products) and Performance Products.

Strategy

Arch Chemicals Inc. is currently pursuing a three point strategy that they expect will put them in the top quartile globally among specialty chemical firms.

1. Complete the transformation to a 100% biocides portfolio through acquisitions and by divesting the remaining non-biocides products. The company is always looking to make strategic acquisitions by selecting candidates that will strengthen or build Arch's current biocides portfolio.

2. Grow organic sales in the biocides business by 6 to 8% per year by increasing innovation and capitalizing on rising demands in emerging markets.

3. Improve profitability through a multifaceted margin improvement plan, reviewing supply chain sourcing initiatives, global manufacturing optimization and operating expense cost-reduction initiatives while improving cash flow generation. Based on these three criteria strategy the company expects that its operating income margin will improve to over 10% by 2013.

Business Segments

Arch Chemical Inc. operates mainly in two segments:

  • Biocides Products(Treatment Products)
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The Biocides Product segment includes three business units: the HTH water products, the personal care and industrial biocides products and the wood protection business. HTH water products produces chemicals for the sanitization and treatment of residential pool, commercial pool and spa water, water in industrials sites and purification of drinkable water.

Arch Chemical also manufactures some products called Applied Biochemists that help to prevent and control algae and nuisance aquatic vegetation. The company sells chlorine-based products and non-chlorine based products as sanitizers. They do so under brand names like HTH, Baqua Spa, POOLIFE, GLB Pool and Spa.

In the personal care segment of the business they produce biocides that help to control the growth of micro-organisms, mainly fungi and algae. The company is also a leading global supplier of biocides for industrial preservation and the consumer market as well. In addition Arch Chemical Inc. produces wood protection chemical solutions that enhance the properties and liftetime of the wood. Some of its wood preservatives and fire retardants are Wolman, Taanlith, Vacsol, Resistol and Dricon.

  • Performance Products

This segment has two main business units: the performance of urethanes business and the hydrazine business. In the Performance Products(urethanes) segment they manufacture a variety of specialty polyols, which are used as ingredients for elastomers, adhesives, coatings, sealants and rigid foam. In addition they produce glycos and glycol ethers to be used in cleaners, personal care products and antifreeze.

The other part of the Performance Products is Hydrazine hydrates, which is used in chemical blowing agents, water treatment chemicals, agricultural products and pharmaceutical intermediates. Some of the hydrazine derivatives they make are used by NASA, the U.S. Air Force and other customers as fuels in satellites, launch vehicles and emergency power units. Ultra Pure hydrazine propellants have the highest purity in the industry and can last the whole working life of satellites. [1]

Product Differentiation

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The company is always trying to provide the best products to their customers compare to their competitors, and also make them unique and more effective in each of their products segments.

Arch biocides are exceptionally valuable in the Healthcare arena because they provide excellent protection against product contamination and transmission of infectious disease. Most patients and healthcare providers realize the vital role antimicrobial agents, like those made by Arch Chemicals, play in the conservation of good health and hygiene. Arch Biocides continues to create great products(the latest one is Cosmocil Antimicrobial) to enhance the quality of life both in human and animal life, hygiene and quality of life by using innovative solutions.

Arch Biocides is also a top manufacturer of Marine Product to protect the bottoms of ship. The company's products are effectively used to limit marine fouling and increasing ships fuel efficiency and speed. They are also leading the way in developing new and environmentally friendly for the marine industry. Some of the latest products include Copper Omadine Fungicide-Algaecide, Zinc Omadine Fungicide_Algaecide and Borocide P Antimicrobial.

In the Agricultural industry the company is also a leader in the development of antimicrobial agents, which has made tremendous competition in term of efficiency, cost-effectiveness and product quality. Products like Frexus CH Antimicrobial is one of such products that helping to make a mark in everyday for people in the field and off the field.

Some of the company products are used in the Textile Treatment industry and they provide antimicrobial protection without comprising the textile properties of the clothes. One of the latest products is Reputex Antimicrobial.

Arch Personal Care products have taking the science of preservation to a whole new level by making sure that they are fulfilling consumers desires for safety, healthy and effective solutions. The company has several innovative solutions that include: Anti-Dandruff Actives, Biotechnological Actives, Delivery Systems, Functional Ingredients, Natural and & Plant Actives, Preservation Systems and Proteins.

Arch Timber Protection is leading supplier of protection products in the U.K., Europe and other key markets like the Middle East and Africa. The company has been in this industry for more than 60 years and it has become a quality product brand-name and technological advacement. Their products include Tanalised E and Resistol. In addition they provide Wood Protection products, where they are the premier producer of wood preservatives in North and South America and a recognized innovative industry leader. Arch Chemical has created partnerships in this business segment with Arch Quimetal and Koppers Arch.

Arch Chemical is also a leading provider in Recreational Water Products, where they offer water treatment chemicals like calcium hypochlorite. This products are not only used for swimming pool sanitization but also provides dependable water-quality protection for millions around the globe each year. The main products the company offers are Baquacil, PooLife, Baquaspa and Brilliance for Spas. The company also has Commercial Water Products, which provides the highest quality products for the effective, consistent treatment of commercial water supplies. These innovative solutions include The Pulsar I System, The Pulsar 3 System, The Pulsar 3 System and The Pulsar PPM-II Controller. In addition the operate a Municipal Water Products where Arch offers resident and visitors the cleanest, purest drinking water possible. These products are Constant Chlor Plus Briquettes, Constant Chlor Plus Chlorinator and Constant Chlor Plus Controller . Lastly the have an International Water segment dedicated to provide quality and usability of water systems for communities across the world. In order to do so they have a Disaster Relief and Infrastructure Support which uses HTH, Easiflo, Constant Chlor, Sanikit, Hypocal, Pace and Pulsar products.

Another main part of Arch business model is the Performance Urethanes & Organics where the company has been in a position of leadership and respect in the CASE (Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants and Elastomers) market. They are able to do that with the following products Poly-G, Poly-L, Poly-Q, Poly-A, Propylene Glycols and Glycols Ethers, HQEE, Poly-T, Poly-CD and Hydrazine.

Arch also has a Coatings segment, where they are view as a global leader in the coatings market. Their water-based coatings are unique in the industry and offer unmatched effectiveness, innovation and environmental safety. They offer this through The HD System and Wood Stain Plus. [2]



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Human Resources

Senior Management

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Arch Chemicals Inc. had approximately 2,504 full-time employees in December 31,2010 of whom 1,118 worked outside the U.S. In addition they also employed 29 part-time employees and 190 seasonal workers, most of these employees are working primarily in the HTH water product business. Many of the employees are represented by unions in various countries including among others the U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Brazil and the U.S. In the last there years there has not been any work stoppages. Arch's believes the relations between the Company and its employees its satisfactory, but they say that there can not be any assurance that new labor contracts can be entered into without causing work stoppages. As an international company Arch Chemical holds that all its employees should adhere by the company's code of conducts regardless of people's different religious, cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds. The company believes that there is one culture that all their employees share, which is the highest principles and values are predicted in everything they do, every day.

Competition

  • Dow Chemical Co. (Ticker: DOW) - Dow Chemical (Ticker:DOW) is a diversified manufacturer and supplier of products used primarily as raw materials in the manufacture of customer products and services worldwide. Dow provides services to a range of industries including appliance, automotive, agricultural, building and construction, chemical processing, electronics, furniture, house wares, oil and gas, packaging, paints, coatings and adhesives, personal care and textile.
  • Cytec Industries Inc (Ticker: CYT) - Cytec Industries Inc. is a global specialty chemicals and materials. The company serves a diverse range of markets including aerospace, adhesives, automotive and industrial coatings. Cytec operates on a global basis including the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia- Pacific and Latin America. CYT also produces biocides, which the main product that Arch chemicals makes and sales. Cytec mines chemicals and phosphines, they have an engineering division where they manufacture advanced composites and carbon fiber among other products
  • Nalco Holding Co. (Ticker: NLC) - Nalco provides integrated water treatment and process improvements services for industrial and institutional applications. It operates in 3 main segments: Water Services, Paper Services and Energy Services. The Water Services help to provide water treatment for industrial, institutional and municipal markets. The Paper Services segment provides process chemicals and water treatment solutions to global pulp and the paper industry. The Energy segment helps to process chemicals and water treatment needs for the oil and petrochemical industries.

To the right we have a comparables table of Arch Chemicals and its main competitors. Arch is the smaller company with a market cap of 982.37M compare to Dow Chemicals (47.76B), Cytec Industries (2.83B) and Nalco (4.01B). Arch current P/E is 14.69, the lowest ratio compare to their peers making Arch cheaper than its competitors. ARJ PEG ratio is the highest compare to their competitors, which makes Arch look expensive, and Nilco seems to the cheapest.

Arch has the lowest P/S ratio which means ARJ is very cheap, since investors are paying $0.69 per every dollar of sales the company generates; overall a good bargain. The P/B ratio of ARJ is in the middle of the range at 2.01, between Nilco 5.55 high ratio and CYT with a 1.45 low ratio, overall neutral. Arch price to cash flow ratio is the lowest which means is the better valued stock among its peers.

Arch Chemicals has very good 30% gross margin, twice as much as Dow Chemicals and lower than 41% of Nalco, but still a very respectable figure that speaks highly of how well the company's capital is being managed. The current ratio is at top among its competitors numbers meaning that ARJ should not have any problems meeting its current obligations. In addition ARJ has the highest quick ratio proving to their investors the high degree of liquidity the company enjoys.

Total Asset turnover is bit higher than DOW, CYT and NLC making Arch more efficient than the competition. Regarding the return of assets ARJ numbers are in the middle of the range at 6.85%, with NLC providing the highest 8.36% return and DOW the lowest with 5.04%. The company ROE outperform its competitors with 15.01% and also their ROIC was the highest of the group.

Arch Chemical operates in a highly competitive industry, where they faced strong competition across many of their product lines. They expect that this competition will continue in both the U.S. and foreign markets. The competition extends to various kinds including product price, delivery, service, performance, product innovation, product recognition and quality. Arch believes their principal product lines are very competitive with many other products of other producers. The competition results from many developments, including new competitors with lower cost production in countries like China and India, technological advances creating new competing products or improving them and reduced barriers to entry in markets in which Arch Chemicals operate. ARJ competes very well in the industry because of their product price, product quality and properties, regulatory and toxicological expertise, as well as customer services. Arch Chemicals also faces increased competition because there has been a trend toward consolidation in the chemical industry. Several competitors of Arch are much bigger and have greater financial resources at their disposal.


Financial Ratios

Per Share

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From the ratios above we see Arch has been able to decrease the Net debt per share by almost half since 2004, which is good news for the company given that they are decreasing their debt and this should help the stock to perform better than in previous year.

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To the right we have chart of Revenues vs. Net Income. Arch Chemicals has had very steady sales in 2005, exceeding 1 billion dollar in sales every single year since 2005. This is great news for Arch but their Net Income number are fairly low compare to their sales. The company is certainly maintaining a degree of profitability, and it has also manage to almost double NI in about 5 years. Arch should be able to decrease some of their operating expenses and be able to have higher earnings as a result.

Below we have a comparison of Arch Chemicals efficiency against their industry, sector and the S&P 500. To the right we have a green table

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Looking at the Revenue/Employee comparison we can see the company performs very well vs. its competitor, only Dow Chemical has a higher number, but is not surprising given the size of the DOW. Compare to their sector average and the S&P 500 they are a bit under the average, but still with a decent return. The Net Income/ employee is in a similar pattern, they only main difference would be against their return is very low compare to the sector. The other ratios from efficiency table are explained in the competition section.

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Arch Chemical higher quick ratio and current ratio against the benchmark speaks for itself of the solid financial condition of the company. Based on the fairly high LT Debt to Equity ratio we can see that the company is aggressively financing their growth through debt. Arch has a high Interest Coverage ratio, which says they are not being burdened by debt expense, which great news since we know they are financing their growth[5] through debt.

Industry Analysis

Value Chain Analysis

Product Development

Most of the company's product development takes place through contract manufacturing agreements. Arch is always trying to develop their own new products and now this has become safety line for the company's Performance Products segment that is very dependent on manufacturing contracts to make such similar products.

Processing

Arch processes the majority of their products at their manufacturing chemicals facilities. Arch Chemicals has 24 manufacturing facilities in four continents. They provide batch manufacturing combined with superior technical support that enables Arch to respond to a diverse group of customers. The company has a very important goal of having zero manufacturing process safety incidents, the year 2010 is the second consecutive year with zero safety incidents.

Marketing

Arch uses significant marketing strategies that includes the use of their brand name to attract and maintain existing wood treater customers, which is significant part of the company's business. Among these strategies they have discounts and retailer promotions, as well as incentives for new potential customers.

Distributing

The company has distribution networks throughout the world including North America, Europe, China, Africa, Brazil and other South American countries. They also distribute products to the U.S. government and NASA. Overall they have a very extensive network in over four continents.

Porter's Five Forces Model

1. Buyer Power The Buyer Power is fairly low given that the company is such a recognized leader in most of the chemical areas of business where they operate, so in most cases the customers will not be switching to better product, but an inferior quality one. Also the fact that some of the company's products are used by NASA, the U.S. Air Force, as well as in fuels in satellites, launch vehicles and emergency power units, speaks for itself how trustworthy and reliable the products of Arch Chemicals are compare to the competition. Therefore, consumers don't have a lot of bargaining power with the company.

2. Supplier Power The Supplier Power is fairly low because the company has multiple suppliers, therefore decreasing the power of suppliers. Arch has always tried to arrange for alternative suppliers that way if any of the main services agreements they have are terminated they should be able to get the materials they need from other suppliers. With such arrangements the company should not be impacted so badly if a supplier service is terminated. The company can also perform some services for itself in case that alternative suppliers also fail to provide such services arrange previously.

3. Threat of Substitutes The Threat of Substitutes in this highly competitive industry is high, given that we compete globally. Given that Arch encounters competition regarding price, delivery, service, performance, product innovation, product recognition and quality. Given that Arch is a leader in many of the industries where they operate is not very likely that other companies will substitute the product line, since they are recognize as a leading brand. But Arch Chemicals can't take the eyes of the ball because a lot of these new competitors that are coming into the industry are very aggressive and have some competitive production cost that could make them very successful. Many of these companies have the same resources and even expertise so they could potentiallly make better products than Arch Chemical and substitute them as leader in the industry. Therefore, Arch is always trying to stay in the leading research not to loose their competitive edge.

4. Barriers to Entry In recent years barriers to entry have been reduced in many of the markets that they operate. Many competitors in developing countries like China and India have been able to enter the industry given many technological developments in these lower-cost production countries. The regulatory legislation in many of these countries have loopholes, which also makes easier for companies to enter the industry.

5. Competitive Rivalry In the chemical industry competition is very high and the company competes with other companies that create similar products making the number of available substitutes high. With new foreign companies joining the chemical market, who could potential offer the same products than Arch does at much lower cost given that they have much lower labor and operating cost, therefore allowing them to sell products at a discount compare to Arch Chemicals Inc.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

  • Core competencies create a true competitive advantage. The company has an in-depth understanding of microbiology and the impact chemicals have on microorganisms. Based on this knowledge their employees are able to develop new products and to find new applications for existing ones.
  • Great global growth potential by being a leader in many of these markets, which include China, India and Brazil.
  • Manufacturing and research facilities in four continents, and almost 50% of their sales come from outside the U.S.
  • Increase demand of antibacterial and antifungus chemicals, mostly biocides, given the increasing awareness of the public about bacterial contamination promises to keep high demand for Arch biocides products.

Weaknesses

  • The biocides product segment is seasonal in nature and can be affected by weather.
  • Increase in raw materials prices, especially diesel fuel prices, would lead to higher COGS, therefore reducing operating margins.
  • Geopolitical Risk given that they operate in four continents and also currency exchange risk given that almost 50% of sales come from outside the U.S.

Opportunities

  • The company continues to find and pursue growth opportunities through internal development, capital projects and acquisitions.
  • Development and commercialization of new products and technologies.
  • Expansion into new markets and geographic regions.
  • Being a leader in the biocides industry we see possible growth opportunities in the construction, building material, food protection, water management, personal care and hygiene markets.

Threats

  • Many of the countries in which Arch operates have environmental regulatory requirements in place and continue to strengthen them.
  • Continuing consolidation in the biocides industry my threaten the company position in the chemical industry.
  • Increase competition worldwide, where foreign companies might be able to offer similar products at much lower price given their low labor cost.

Revenue Analysis and Data

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The graph to the left is detailing the sales of Arch for the last five years, and we can see the company's sales are still below pre-recession levels. Despite this Arch continues to grow globally, and with operations already in four continents as of today, we therefore have a lot of confidence that Arch sales will reach new highs and the company will continue to grow into the future. They are a leader in most of the business segments they operate and we expect they remain in that position for years to come.

The trailing 12 month EPS is $2.64/share and the EPS forecast for 2011 is $2.85/share. The current analyst consensus for long term growth is about 9.50%, which is makes ARJ an interesting growth story. Below we have a detailed table with the company's revenue by products, where we can see the Treatment Product segment is the core of their business accounting for about 86% of their current revenue.


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To the left we have a graph of Account and Notes Receivables for Arch, and the good sign for the company is that they have been able to decrease the Accounts & Notes Receivables since 2006, which means they are getting paid quicker for the products and services they provide to customers. Also the cash accounts have grown considerably from 82.40 to 210.20 million. Arch has been steadily increasing Current Assets from 511.10 to 619.30(units in million) and they have been doing so at a steady pace.

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To the right the Inventories graph is also showing progress for [7] the company, Arch has decreased inventory from $182.40 to $168.30 in millions from 2006 to 2010 and this good news because the less inventory they hold the less cost associated with keeping inventory, improving overall the finances of ARJ


Arch Chemicals business segments are very diverse with regard to array of products that they offer. The company has two main segments, the Treatment Products and Performance Products segments. In 2010 these segments percentage revenue was 86.50% and 13.50% respectively; in 2009 the percentages were 88.01% and 11.99% respectively.

Below there is pie chart showing the two main segments of revenue of Arch.

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[8]


Below to the right we have a pie chart with the complete breakdown of the company's revenues. The biggest revenue source are HTH Water Products with 44.01%, followed by Personal Care and Industrial Biocides with 24.00%, Wood Protection and Industrial Coatings 18.48%, Performance Urethanes 12.28% and finally Hydrazine with 1.23%.

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Arch Chemicals pays a decent dividend of 2.1%, which about 10 times the current market rate for deposits. The shares of the company are trading at 13.6x earnings, at a discount compare to the industry average of 19.30x earnings. The company management has been doing a great job in returning earnings to their shareholders, currently the ROE is about 16% and the ROA about 5.7% Arch Chemicals has a current market cap of approximately $967.88 million with a little over 25 million shares outstanding. The stock of Arch Chemical has performed well in the last 52 weeks, it currently trades at $38.06 and it has traded at a high of $42.58/share and a low of $28.87/share, providing overall a nice return to shareholders for the past year. The Company is a little bit more volatility than the overall market given its beta of 1.27, but is not a significant difference.


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[9]
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To the left we have a table displaying the Actual Net Income per Employee at Arch, and it is noticeable the great improvements the company has made in terms of productivity. Back in 2001 the actual returns was negative on an employee basis, in 2010 that number had increase to over $28,000/employee. This is remarkable trend for Arch, where about half of the overall increase occur between 2009 ($15,312/employee) versus the year 2010 ($28,235/employee).

To the right we can see a pie chart with Arch Chemical Capital Structure, which is 72.22% in Equity and 27.78% in Debt.[10]



Below we have a revenue table with a breakdown by region. Foreign revenue at this point is slightly bigger than the revenue obtained in the U.S. As 2009 51.3% of total revenue came from outside the U.S. and we think that trend will continue into the future given the strong growth potential in emerging markets.

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The next table shows the distribution of Long Term Assets for Arch in all the continents they operate. Currently ARJ has a little less of half of total assets in the U.S, with roughly 249.4 millions in long term assets compare to all the foreign assets which add up to 260.5 millions

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In the last few years the company has been reinvesting more and more of its earnings, which we interpret as great sign of confidence by the management in Arch future growth. To the right we have the increase from 15.70 millions in 2007 to 50.6 millions in 2010. This is the kind of decisions we believe will pay up in the long term, since this reinvestment will reassure that Arch continues to be a leading firm in the biocides industry.

Working Capital

On March 31, 2010, Arch completed their sale of The Sherwin-Williams Company, resulting in a working capital change of $54 million. Normally Arch working capital tends to peak in the second quarter due to the seasonality of their HTH water products. Therefore the company has to make sure that it can finance their opeations during this active part of the business cycle, since inventories have to increase significantly to meet the demand of the U.S. residential swimming pool season. The company working capital has been steadily increase since 2006 from 123.7 to 168.1 in 2010 (in millions)

Positioning

Arch Chemical is very well positioned in the industry as the leader of biocides products in the industry. The company has 31 U.S. patents and numerous foreign counterpart patents related to HTH water products. This broad patent portfolio in the Biocides Products segment is a source of competitive advantage for the businesses in this segment. The company relies heavily upon unpatented proprietary know-how and continual technological innovation (including trade secrets) that allows them to maintain their competitive position, primarily in their Performance Products segment.

As the leader in markets with a lot of growth potential, Arch is position as the world's largest supplier of antidandruff actives, a major swimming pool and spa sanitizer provider, a leading industrial wood treatment provider. Given their global infrastructure and operations on four continents, Arch is very well positioned with a strong global footprint and a growing presence in the fastest regions of the world, including China, India and Brazil. Arch Chemicals believes that the expected cost related to complying with current environmental regulations will not have an adverse result in their position as industry leaders.

In addition in recent years the general public has become more aware of the dangers of bacterial growth and food-borne pathogens, as a result consumers demand that biocides are regularly used in many different materials to prevent infections, microbial deterioration and provide hygienic effects. This additional demand promises to provide an additional support to Arch Chemical biocides business segment.

Risk Factors

  • Biocides Products segment is seasonal in nature and can be affected by weather
  • Increase in cost of commodities and raw materials will lead to higher cost of goods sold and this will negatively impact their operating margins.
  • Highly competitive industry where they could see a reduction in the market share.
  • The company may not be able to continuing growing because of strong competition or the inception of better products by the competition.
  • The company has a concentrated base of customers in their biocides business and the loss of any of these customers will affect negatively their business.
  • Possible need of building manufacturing facilities in developing countries and this operations have some inherent risks.
  • Exchange rate fluctuations given that almost half of their revenues come from outside the U.S.
  • Possible environmental and regulatory risk.
  • Arch liquidity may be affected given their payment obligations to their pension plans, which are currently underfunded.[13]

Macroeconomic Factors

Economy

An stable and growing world economy is vital to the continuous growth and expansion of Arch Chemicals given that they have operations in four continents. Any risk to the world economy is very likely to have an adverse impact in the company's profitability. Many areas where they do business were especially affected by the 2008 global recession and a continuation of this economic downturn could have negative results in their operations.

In 2010 the Company saw improvements in consumer demand with respect to the depressed 2009 numbers,which folllow the global economic downturn. Arch continues to see low demand in the near future for their wood products because the weakness in the housing market has not gone away and consumers see a lot of economic uncertainty in the future that contributes to a weak housing market. In 2010 their urethanes business segment also suffer from a weak demand and there is no recovery in this business segment not only will impact earnings and cash flows, but it could potential impact certain long-lived assets for this business.

Recent increases in higher energy prices are a serious concern for Arch Chemical. As oil prices continue to increase this causes a spike in diesel fuel prices, which ARJ uses to ship most of their products. Higher diesel fuel prices will affect significantly Arch operating margins reducing their profitability.

Interest Rates

Currently the Company is subject to interest rate risk on its outstanding debt, of which some its subject to floating rates. Interest rates are currently sitting at record lows and the increase coming is inevitable; therefore this posses a risk for the company and it will certainly increase their operating cost. An increase in interest rates also has another possible adverse effect on the company given that when interest rates rise the US dollar tends to appreciate in value and this might affect the company's export because the product they sell abroad at more expensive to overseas customers than when the dollar was weak.

Historically Arch has been exposed to interest rate risk and as of December of 2010, about 19% of Arch outstanding borrowing are subject ti fixed rates due to new financing arrangements. Based on the company's calculations about their borrowing levels they estimate an increase of 100 basis points (1% rise over current rates) would translate in a decrease of results of operations and cash flows of approximately $0.2 million. Currently the company has interest rate swap agreements that allow the company to hedge their interest rate risk going forward and they will continue doing so.

Corporate tax rates

Arch Chemicals has to comply with the complex tax code of several different countries given their global scope of operations, but also they are subject to states taxes in the US. The company has to continuously adapt to the different changes in the country's tax codes where they operate. Previously Arch has enjoyed a tax benefit because of the way the had structure their U.K. financing operations, but unfortunately a new legislation was passed recently that could limit such tax benefit for Arch Chemicals; therefore resulting in a likely tax rate increase in the near future.

Another recent development has been the possible changes to tax exports in China. These are just a few examples of how the company is exposed to a complex international tax code, which is subject and could potential have an adverse impact in operating results. As of today, the company taxes from 2006 to 2009 remain open to examination in the U.K, Italy, Brazil and China. Until the examination are closed, the company could be subject to some risk in these taxing jurisdictions. To the right we can see a chart of Arch annual income taxes, and given the new legislations in the U.K. legislations the taxes are expected to increase.[14]

Weighted Average Cost of Capital(WACC)

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In the graph on the left we have Arch Chemicals Weighted Average Cost of Capital(WACC), which has increased since 2001 from 6.5% to as high as 11%, even tough interest rates are sitting at an all time low of 0.25%.

The company has a weight on equity of 72.22% and a weight on debt of 27.78%. The actual cost of equity is about 12.37% and the cost of debt is around 2.94%. Based on the weight distribution of Arch their cost of equity is about 8.94% and the cost of debt about 1%, given ARJ a combined WACC of about 9.75%.

The company has currently about 38.50 million in short term debt and 327.80 million in long term debt, and a market cap of 952.04 million that gives Arch a total capital structure of 1,318.31 million. Arch just has an economic value added of 33.61 million and a Return of Invested Capital(ROIC) of 13.89%. [15]



Valuation

Arch Chemicals stock (ARJ) is a value stock play with a forward P/E of 12.70. ARJ has global operations, produce chemicals that destroy and control the growth of harmful microbes. The company largest segment is the Biocides. The company quarterly results have beaten estimates for 6 quarters in a row. The company has projected an increase in projected sales between 5% and 7% due to strong growth in the Biocides business. Also most analysts expect earnings to growth in 2012 by $2.60/share(6.9%). In addition to the low P/E ratio, the company's P/B ratio is also within the value parameters. Arch has also a low price-to-sales ratio of 0.7, which makes ARJ an even more interesting value play.

Government Regulation

Arch Chemicals Inc. is subject to extensive regulation given that they are a U.S government contractor. In 2005, Arch's obtained a 20-year contract for $149 million with the Defense Energy Support Center for the production, storage and distribution of hydrazine-based propellants products. As a U.S government contractor Arch's is subject to extensive and complex U.S. government procurement laws and regulations. Due to these regulations that have comply with government audits regularly. If the company fails to comply with these laws and regulations regarding their products it could be subject to civil and criminal penalties under certain circumstances, suspension of current contract and debarment from future government contracts, as well a possible halt of their product exports for a period of time.

In addition to complying to government regulations that affect government contractors, Arch Chemical, as chemical manufacturer is subject to numerous regulations regarding the sale of their products. Some of ARJ products are registered with the U.S. EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. This act requires that all biocides have to be registered with the EPA before the sale or distribution of any product and that the data provided by the company shows clearly that these are safe biocides products. Arch Chemical has to comply also with the European Biocidal Products Directive regulations given that they have operations in Europe.

Efficiency

The company has developed a management system to improve Arch's efficiency. The Biocides leader also has "The Goal is Zero", an initiative that includes zero manufacturing process incidents, zero distribution incidents and zero enviromental incidents. By following such an aggressive strategy the plan is to increase their efficiency significantly. The company has made significant progress and is committed to continue in such a positive path. As part of Arch Chemicals culture and values they have tried to have a continuous improvement in operations and sustainability, resulting in increase efficiency. Thanks to some of these strategies and initiatives the company's has been able to achieve a world class global manufacturing. Other ways Arch is becoming more efficient is by improving their global supply chain, optimizing their global manufacturing and trying to reduce their operating costs.

Solvency and Leverage

The company believes that their solvency is not at risk at all. Arch even has the assets of Rabbi Trust, which are available to satisfy the claims of Arch's creditors in the event of bankruptcy or insolvency of the company. The company holdings in the Rabbi Trust is treated like treasury stock.

Commitment to Sustainability

Arch Chemicals is the leader supplier of biocides, water sanitizers and related products that helps to improve people lives by making them safer and healthier. Therefore they believe is not only their duty but their responsibility to develop products that not only benefit their customers but that are also environmentally friendly. The company is always looking for ways to increase the sustainability of their products and manufacturing processes and by doing so becoming responsible leaders in the industry. In order to achieve such levels of sustainability the company has some key elements, which they believe are essential, this elements include:

  • Empowering employees to be part of a culture of innovation
  • Extracting the highest efficiency from our raw materials, including energy
  • Measuring their environmental impact and trying to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Collaborating with their stakeholders to continuously improve.

Arch Chemicals is committed to provide the highest quality product and services that delight the company's customers, while trying at the same time to minimize their impact on the environment. Arch also believes that sustainability starts with maximizing their most valuable resources, their employees.


References

  1. Arch Chemical 10-K Report
  2. Arch Chemical Corporate Document
  3. Arch Web Site
  4. Arch Senior Management
  5. Reuters Financials
  6. Bloomberg Terminal
  7. Bloomberg Terminal
  8. Bloomberg Terminal
  9. Bloomberg Terminal
  10. Bloomberg Terminal
  11. Bloomberg Terminal
  12. Bloomberg Terminal
  13. Arch Chemical 10-K Report
  14. Arch Yahoo Finance
  15. Bloomberg Terminal

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