No one knows if the U.S. in a recession, and we won't know until we have two negative quarters of growth in a row. However, one thing we do know is that the early recovery cyclical chemical stocks have been working since the beginning of the year.
With that in mind, Stockpickr has put together a list of
One stock making this portfolio is
, which a few weeks ago reported fourth-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 84 cents a share compared to analyst estimates of 80 cents. Sales rose to $14.2 billion from $12.2 billion the prior year, exceeding Wall Street's $13.1 billion consensus target. Dow Chemical also has a 4.4% yield.
Another stock making this portfolio is
, which last month said that it expects earnings to more than double in the next five years because of projects designed to bolster profitability.
Eastman said that it expects to earn $10 a share in 2012. Add that with its current price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 12 and you get a $110 stock by 2012. Eastman also plans to buy back $300 million of its stock in the next year. Eastman also has a 2.7% yield.
Also worth looking at is
, which two weeks ago reported strong fourth-quarter earnings of 93 cents a share compared to analyst estimates of 82 cents a share.
Celanese also raised its 2008 EPS outlook from $3.35 to $3.65 to $3.50 to $3.70. Celanese CEO Dave Weidman said, "Celanese is well-positioned to mitigate the impacts of an uncertain economic environment and deliver sustained earnings growth." Celanese's board also just approved a $400 million stock-buyback plan for 2008.
For more ideas in the sector, check out the
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