Huntsman Swings to 1st-Quarter Loss Amid Charges, Revenue Slump
By Saabira Chaudhuri
Huntsman Corp. (HUN) swung to a first-quarter loss, posting lower revenue and higher one-time charges than the year-ago quarter, although core earnings beat Wall Street views.
Huntsman--which makes insulation as well as coatings and pigments used in such industries as consumer products, construction and automobiles--has seen its revenue helped by growth in its key polyurethanes business due to higher average selling prices and higher sales volumes, although overall revenue has been declining for several quarters.
Still, Chief Executive Peter R. Huntsman struck an optimistic note, saying he is "encouraged" by general demand trends across Huntsman's businesses in North America and Asia." He added that Huntsman saw stronger MDI polyurethane margins, a trend it expects to continue.
For the quarter, Huntsman posted a loss of $24 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a profit of $163 million, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest quarter's results included $44 million in restructuring, impairment and plant closing costs, and a $35 million loss on the early extinguishment of debt. Excluding one-time items, per-share earnings were down at 19 cents from 77 cents.
Revenue declined 7.2% to $2.7 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast a profit of 16 cents a share on revenue of $2.71 billion
Gross margin narrowed to 12.9% from 18.9%.
Revenue from the company's polyurethanes business, the largest top-line contributor, fell 2.6%.
Shares closed Monday at $18.68 and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 32% in the past 12 months.
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The decrease in revenues in our Polyurethanes division for the three months ended March 31, 2013 compared
to the same period in 2012 was primarily due to lower sales volumes partially offset by higher average selling
MDI sales volumes decreased in the European region partially offset by increased sales volumes in the Asia Pacific
and Americas regions. PO/MTBE sales volumes decreased primarily due to the timing of shipments.
MDI average selling prices increased in all regions primarily in response to higher raw material costs.
PO/MTBE average selling prices decreased primarily due to less favorable market conditions.
The decrease in adjusted EBITDA was primarily due to lower PO/MTBE earnings
(first quarter 2012 benefited from industry supply outages) partially offset by higher MDI contribution margins.