Air Liquide (AIQUY) will sell certain activities in Africa

by MMC
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Air Liquide SA AIQUY has signed an agreement with Adenia to divest some of its operations in the 12 African countries. These operations generate a turnover of around 60 million euros ($65 million), or less than 10% of the group’s sales in Africa.

The proposed sale, which is subject to standard regulatory and financial approvals, illustrates Air Liquide’s approach to aggressive portfolio management. The divested operations are located in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo.

Adenia, a recognized investor in Africa for more than 20 years, intends to contribute 30 million euros ($32.7 million) to accelerate the growth of these companies.

Air Liquide will remain a major player in industrial and medical gases in Africa, with around 1,600 employees and 700 million euros invested over the last three years. The company will continue to seize development opportunities, particularly in the areas of energy transition, hydrogen and health.

Positioned in new markets, the group benefits from key assets such as its solid economic model, its innovation and its technological knowledge. The group explores solutions for the climate and energy transition, in particular using hydrogen, and works to advance health, digital and high technologies.

Air Liquide shares have gained 31.7% over the past year compared to a decline of 4.5% for its sector.

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Zacks Rankings and Key Picks

Air Liquide currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Top-ranked stocks in basic materials include Denison Mines Corp. DNN, Carpenter Technology Company CRS and Hawkins, Inc. HWKN.

Denison Mines carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). DNN has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 300%. The company’s shares have soared 84.3% over the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Carpenter Technology currently carries a Zacks Rank #1. CRS has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters while tying it once, with the average earnings surprise being 12.2%. The company’s shares have soared 63.7% over the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Hawkins’ current fiscal year earnings is pegged at $3.61 per share, indicating a year-over-year increase of 26.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HWKN’s current year earnings has been revised 4.3% upward in the past 30 days. HWKN, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, has surpassed the consensus estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 30.6%. The company’s shares are up about 83.5% over the past year.

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