Specialty chemicals company
Westlake Chemical Corp.
) reported first-quarter 2013 earnings of $1.84 per share
exceeding $1.31 per share earned in the year-ago quarter. The
results surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.29,
reflecting a positive surprise of around 43%.
The company posted a record profit of $123.3 million in the
reported quarter, surging roughly 40% from $87.8 million recorded
in the prior-year quarter. Westlake benefited from globally
advantaged energy and feedstock position stemming from North
American shale gas and oil production.
Revenues came in at $864.6 million in the quarter, plummeting
16.5% from $1,034.9 million registered a year ago. It missed the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $875 million.
The year-over-year decrease was due to lower feedstock,
ethylene and ethylene co-product sales volumes and lower sales
prices for polyethylene and PVC resin. Ethylene and ethylene
co-product sales volumes slipped due to a planned turnaround and
ethylene unit expansion at Lake Charles, La.
The Olefins segment reported income from operations of $161.1
million in the quarter, up 24.7% from $129.2 million registered a
year ago. The results were positively impacted by higher olefin
integrated product margins. The segment's margins increased owing
to significantly lower feedstock and energy costs, partially
offset by lower sales prices.
Income from operations for the Vinyls segment was $43.7
million in the reported quarter, an increase of $22.6 million
from $21.1 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was
mainly attributable to higher vinyls integrated product margins,
largely resulting from lower feedstock costs.
Westlake had cash and cash equivalents of $777.9 million as of
Mar 31, 2013, down 13.1% from $895.2 million as of Mar 31, 2012.
Long-term debt stood at $763.8 million as of Mar 31, 2013, flat
on a year-over-year basis.
Net cash provided by operating activities was $116.3 million
in the reported quarter compared with $ 105.6 million in the
prior-year quarter. Capital expenditures were $150.8 million for
the first quarter of 2013.
Westlake currently maintains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
), another prominent player in the chemical-plastics space,
reported mixed first-quarter 2013 results last week. Its adjusted
earnings of 31 cents a share were up 29% from 24 cents earned in
the year-ago quarter and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of 27 cents.
Revenues came in at $801.1 million in the quarter, up 7.5% from
$745.5 million recorded in the year-ago quarter, but missed the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $882 million.
Other companies in the chemical-plastics space with favorable
Zacks Rank are
). While Tredegar retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Landec
holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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