The outlook for frac sand is pretty positive, especially considering today's tough markets. However, many frac sand companies are privately held. Here's a look at a few public ones that are giving investors reason to take notice.
The price of frac sand has risen in 2014 thanks to high demand, and frackers are expected to use nearly 95 billion pounds of the material for the year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Even more significantly, frac sand should continue to perform well despite low oil prices, a recent OilPrice.com article notes. In today's tough markets, that's a pretty positive scenario, but unfortunately for investors looking to put money into frac sand companies, many are privately owned. Not all are, however — here's a look at a number of public frac sand companies that may be worth some attention. US Silica (NYSE:SLCA) Focusing on "performance materials that are essential to modern living," US Silica supplies proppants for fracking and also uses silica sand for markets as diverse as wind power, solar energy, paint, electronic devices and metal parts. The company recently released its 2014 Q3 results, boasting a net income of $41.3 million. That marks a huge rise from the year-ago period, when its net income came to $21.3 million. "I'm extremely pleased with our performance during the quarter," Bryan Shinn, president and CEO of US Silica, said in a media release. "Contribution margin for our oil and gas segment almost doubled year-over-year, volumes were up significantly and we continue to see very strong demand for our high quality products. In addition, our Cadre acquisition is performing above our initial expectations and our industrial and specialty products business is making steady progress in expanding margins and growing their bottom line." Emerge Energy Services (NYSE:EMES) Describing itself as a "diversified energy services company," Emerge has been making waves in two areas of the energy industry: sand production and fuel processing and distribution.