AP News

LyondellBasell shares gain after joining S&P 500


NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of LyondellBasell Industries NV got a boost after Standard & Poor's said the Dutch company would replace Sears Holding Corp. in its S&P 500 index.

THE SPARK: Standard & Poor's said the switch will take place after the close of trading Tuesday. It said the Netherlands-based company, which refines oil and makes chemicals and plastics used in manufacturing and construction, will be added to the S&P 500 Specialty Chemicals Sub-Industry index.

Shares typically gain when a stock is added to a major index, because mutual funds and other investments that are based on that index must make purchases to align their holdings.

THE BIG PICTURE: While LyondellBasell shares advanced after the announcement, Sears' stock was the second-biggest decliner in the S&P 500 Thursday.

The S&P had said Wednesday that Sears, which has been a fixture on the index for decades, had a public float that has been well below the 50 percent threshold for inclusion on the index for a long time and is no longer considered representative of the index. Float refers to shares that are public and available for investors to trade. ESL Investments, run by billionaire investor Eddie Lampert, owns about 40 percent of Sears' outstanding shares. Lampert himself holds another 21 percent.

As for LyondellBasell, the company said last month said its second quarter profit fell 4 percent, as lower revenue was compounded by one-time charges. Not including those one-time items, however, the company's results handily beat Wall Street expectations.

The company reported net income of $768 million, or $1.33 per share, in the spring quarter. That included charges of 33 cents per share, due to debt repayments and changing inventory values, partially offset by proceeds from an insurance settlement.

Revenue fell 15 percent to $11.2 billion, as chemical volumes were lower in Europe amid weakening economic conditions there.

SHARE ACTION: LyondellBasell's stock rose $1.85, or 4 percent, at $48.74.


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