US Eastman reports $54m net loss on one-time charges

31 January 2013 23:33  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based specialty chemicals producer Eastman Chemical reported on Thursday a Q4 net loss of $54m (€40m) compared with a net income of $12m for the same time the previous year, largely because of one-time charges and pension expenses.

Those one-time charges include asset impairment and restructuring charges and costs related to Eastman's acquisition of Solutia, which closed in July 2012.

Once those one-time charges are excluded, Eastman's operating earnings were $326m, up 28% from $255m for the same time last year, Eastman said. Earnings rose because cheaper costs for raw materials and energy more than offset lower sales prices.

Q4 sales were $2.17bn, up 26% from $1.72bn from the same time the previous year. Gross profit was $325m, up 59% from $204m from in Q4 2011.

“This high level of performance was driven by our market-leading businesses and the significant strategic actions we have taken to improve our portfolio," according to a statement by Jim Rogers, CEO.  "We are well positioned for continued growth in 2013 and beyond, supported by strong cash generation.” 

Looking forward, Rogers said, "We expect the continued integration of Solutia, capacity expansions serving customers in growing end-markets, and the increased benefit of producing versus purchasing olefins will positively impact results."

However, global uncertainty persists, especially the timing of any recovery in Europe, Rogers said.

Nonetheless, the company is increasing its 2013 earnings/share estimate to $6.30-6.40, he said.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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