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MMM – Increasing A Bet That The Industry Makes Poorly: Could 3M Do Better?

This week we saw 3M increase its R&D bet, raising the percentage of revenues that it directs towards R&D and raising expectations for what we consider to be a particularly meaningless index – the amount of revenues generated from products

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Discounting Complexity

In recent research we have written about the current market preference for good stories, over valuation and other more traditional metrics. We also suggested that there might be more interest in simplicity over complexity. The hypothesis being that the more

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Getting Left Behind – Hard For Industrials To Keep Pace With This Market

Early in the year we commented on the relative high value of most of the Industrials and Materials sectors and suggested that it would be hard for the group to outperform a rising market.  The market has been rising quite

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Confidence Gone? – If So, It’s a Long Way Down for Some; A Buying Opportunity for Others

Our measure of skepticism shows whether investors are concerned that things might get worse from here or confident that they will get better. It is a measure of whether current valuations reflect current returns of capital (so by definition in

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Aluminum – Focus On The Bigger Picture

One of the appeals of the SSR platform is that we are not forced to get into the weeds of the daily news flow and data points, and really only talk about them when they are relevant to a theme

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Petrochemical Investment – Doing the Right Thing for Yourself But Possibly Ruining It For Everybody

In a research report that we published yesterday we discussed the likelihood of over-investment in petrochemicals globally as a result of the apparent feedstock opportunity in the US.  We paint a bearish picture of possible oversupply, in part fueled by

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Q1 Review – Still Minimal Appetite For Risk

We recently reviewed how the Industrials and Basic Materials Sectors fared in Q1 2013.  As is always the case, there is a mixed bag of results – some sectors did better than others and some stocks did better than others.

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The Mood of the Chemical Industry – Its Déjà vu, Almost

Every year the global petrochemical industry gathers in Houston for the (now) IHS World Petrochemical Conference, an event that I first attended in 1988, regularly through 1996 as a partner in then-hosts CMAI, and occasionally thereafter.  This year was an

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Low Cost US – The Shift Is Underway, SLOWLY Reversing a 40 Year Trend

Over the last 40 years, US manufacturing industries have – slowly at first, but then more rapidly – spread their wings into other parts of the world.  They did not do this to “be international” nor did they do it

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M&A – If It Is Really Heating Up, Beware the Overconfident

In work that we published in 2012 we took a deep dive into the world of M&A in the Industrials and Basics space and concluded that while the average deal did create shareholder value, the mistakes were more memorable than

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