UpdateUS Eastman Q1 profit rises $99m on coatings, specialites

22 April 2010 23:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US polyester producer Eastman Chemical on Thursday reported a 2010 first-quarter net profit of $101m (€76m), up from a $2m gain a year ago because of improved product mix and rising volumes.

Sales revenue totalled $1.56bn, up 39% from the 2009 period.

Regarding the outlook for 2010, chief executive Jim Rogers said the company would continue to benefit from improved sales volume and higher capacity utilisation, which would result in lower unit costs.

Eastman also expected continued volatility in raw material and energy costs, with second-quarter guidance of $1.50-1.60/share expected as a result, Rogers said.

Eastman's revenue gains in first-quarter 2010 were in stark contrast to the net loss of $32m in the last quarter of 2009, when the company’s earnings were hindered by asset impairment and restructuring charges related to its discontinued gasification project in Beaumont, Texas.

By segment, year-over-year first-quarter sales revenue was up by 50% in the coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks segment; 58% in the specialty plastics segment; and 59% higher in performance chemicals and intermediates.

The company also reported 3% higher sales in the fibres segment and 22% in performance polymers.

Eastman shares surged in after-hours Thursday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, moving higher by $4.00, or 6%, to $71.12/share. The stock closed at $67.12 before the earnings announcement.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Landon Feller
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