03 March 2009 21:49 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US plastics-additives producer Albemarle will likely miss earnings estimates in the first quarter due to a continued decline in the company’s polymer segment, the company said in a mid-quarter conference call on Tuesday.
“We would have to move heaven and earth just to meet the low end of our earnings estimate in the first quarter,” CEO Mark Rohr said. “Polymers simply will not perform as well as in the fourth quarter, and it’ll be a struggle just to break even.”
Analysts surveyed by First Call previously expected the company to earn 45 cents/share for the quarter, after earning 42 cents/share in the 2008 fourth quarter.
“We are not running these plants until demand says we should do so,” Rohr said.
In the meantime, that has given
The company’s profit from its polymer additives segment dropped to $6.2m in the 2008 fourth quarter, compared with $31.6m profit in the 2007 fourth quarter.
Polymer volumes are down approximately 50% in the first two months of the year from year-ago levels, and
Fine chemicals were one of the only segments to buck the trend of fourth-quarter declines, with a 6% rise in net profit and a 23% jump in sales.
($1 = €0.80)
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