“Croda International Plc (LON:CRDA)’s share price has dipped on the news that it’s selling its bio-based industrial business to US firm Cargill Velocity Holdings for £778m. Given the review of this part of the business, a sale had been on the cards, so rather than the strategic direction of the Yorkshire based company, it may have been the price tag which disappointed some investors, with expectations that it could have clinched an even higher price tag.
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The 1.2% fall in early trading is a minor dent in a spectacular performance for Croda over 2021. It’s one of the FTSE 100 biggest risers, climbing 48% over the year, riding high on a surge of success. It reported some cracking record results for the first half in the summer and said annual profit would be well ahead of expectations. Broker upgrades on the stock also sent the share price soaring. The extent to which Croda is benefiting from the ongoing vaccine boom has become clear over recent months and it’s down to its investment in innovative technologies. It supplies lipid nanoparticles for Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)’s mRNA technology and given the demand for booster jabs, that area of Life Sciences is bounding ahead. Although revenues from Pfizer may wane, there is expectation that there will be growing customer demand for a broader range of use of its products in medical treatments like oncology. Recovery in consumer markets has also helped its personal care sector which focuses on ingredients for skin, hair, and cosmetic products and the focus on sustainability should help drive sales among an increasingly eco-conscious customer base."
Article by Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown
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