29 March 2002 22:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Standard & Poor's (S&P) on Friday affirmed its "BBB" corporate credit rating for Eastman Chemical, saying the outlook for the Kingsport, Tennessee-based company is stable.
The commercial credit rating agency said its ratings incorporate Eastman's "above-average business profile, reflecting solid market and cost positions in most of its chemicals, plastics and fibres businesses, as well as expectations for prudent financial management policies."
S&P credit analyst Kyle Loughlin added that Eastman has enhanced its positions in specialty product categories through a series of transactions that bolstered the company's position in chemicals for the higher-growth coatings, adhesives and inks markets.
Eastman is also a leader in the production of intermediate and performance chemicals for a wide range of industrial applications, he added, with products ranging from basic acetyls and oxo chemicals with gross domestic product level growth prospects, to numerous organic specialty chemical products that compete on the basis of performance and offer higher growth.
Recently, he noted, Eastman discontinued efforts to spin off its specialty chemicals and plastics which was expected to separate the company's specialty chemical businesses from the more commodity-like polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene, and acetate fibres segment.
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