Chemicals and polymers maker
) raked in earnings from continuing operations of $1.72 per share
for the first quarter of 2014, up roughly 10% from $1.56 per
share recorded a year ago.
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Consolidated profit (attributable to the company's shareholders)
rose around 5% year over year to $945 million in the quarter. The
improvement came despite headwinds from weather-related raw
material cost volatility and shipping delays. The
Netherlands-based company continued to leverage favorable North
American natural gas environment.
Barring a $52 million (or 9 cents per share) benefit associated
with environmental indemnity settlement, earnings for the quarter
were $1.63 per share. That missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
LyondellBasell recorded revenues of $11,135 million in the
quarter, up around 4% year over year as gains were witnessed
across most of the business segments. Sales, however, missed the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11,209 million.
Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and
amortization (EBITDA) went up 5% year over year to $1,668
Revenues from the Olefins & Polyolefins - Americas division
rose 3% year over year to $3,357 million in the reported quarter.
EBITDA, however, fell 18% year over year to $736 million,
affected by maintenance activity and preparation for turnaround
at the company's La Porte facility.
Sales from the Olefins & Polyolefins - Europe, Asia,
International segment fell around 0.6% year over year to $3,778
million. EBITDA jumped 58% year over year to $356 million,
benefiting from environmental settlement.
Intermediates and Derivatives segment sales went up 6% to $2,429
million in the reported quarter. EBITDA edged up 0.5% year over
year to $375 million, supported by higher sales volumes.
Revenues from the Refining segment rose around 12% to $2,756
million. EBITDA surged more than six-fold year over year to $129
million, partly benefiting from higher throughput. Renewable
Identification Numbers (RINs) costs to meet U.S. renewable fuel
standards fell $5 million from the year-ago quarter.
Technology segment sales inch up 1% year over year to $136
million. EBITDA rose 15% year over year to $76 million as a
result of lower R&D expenses.
LyondellBasell ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents
of $2.7 billion, down 6% year over year. Long-term debt jumped
57% year over year to roughly $6.8 billion.
LyondellBasell bought back 15 million shares in the reported
quarter. The company's Supervisory Board, on Apr 16, approved a
17% rise in its interim dividend to 70 cents per share. Moreover,
its shareholders approved a share repurchase program to authorize
the company to buyback an additional 10% of its outstanding
Moving ahead, LyondellBasell envisions significant planned
downtime at La Porte in the second quarter given normal
turnaround maintenance and actions to complete ethylene capacity
expansion at the site. The company also expects its refining
benchmark crack spread to remain relatively stable compared with
the first quarter.
LyondellBasell is executing its expansion projects to leverage
the U.S. natural gas liquids advantage. The company restarted its
methanol plant at Channelview, TX, in fourth-quarter 2013 to
benefit from low-cost natural gas from shale formations. The
facility had been out of operation since 2004 as a result of
rising natural gas costs.
The methanol facility along with the company's other major
debottleneck projects (including expansion at La Porte) are
expected to bring in new capacity at considerably lower cost than
building new facilities.
LyondellBasell, which has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in
2010, is among the leading plastics, chemical and refining
companies globally with operations across 18 countries. The
company's products are used across a bevy of industries including
electronics, automotive parts, packaging, construction materials
LyondellBasell is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.
Other chemical stocks worth considering include
Eastman Chemical Co.
) with all retaining a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).