Chemical maker Methanex CorporationMEOH recorded net profit (attributable to Methanex shareholders) of $24 million or 28 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2016 as compared with a profit of $10 million or 10 cents per share logged a year ago and a loss of $11 million or 12 cents per share in third-quarter 2016 .
Earnings per share for the reported quarter beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 15 cents. Earnings increased on a sequential basis due to an increase in the realized price during the fourth quarter, which was partly offset by changes in the cost of methanol and lower sales of produced volume.
Adjusted EBITDA was $139 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with $74 million in the third quarter of 2016. The improvement was primarily due to the increase in average realized price.
Production for the fourth quarter was 1,859,000 tons compared with 1,389,000 tons in the year-ago quarter.
Revenues rose roughly 20.9% year over year to $585.6 million in the reported quarter. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $564 million.
Methanex Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Cash flows from operating activities in the fourth quarter were $72 million compared with $44 million for the prior-year quarter. Cash and cash equivalents were $223.9 million at the end of 2016, down 12% year over year. Long-term debt was around $1.5 billion, up roughly 1% year over year.
Moving ahead, Methanex expects higher average m ethanol prices in first-quarter 2017. The company anticipates that production in first quarter of 2017 will remain at par on a sequential basis. As a result, the company expects EBITDA to be higher in the first quarter of 2017 than the fourth quarter of 2016.
Methanex has outperformed the Zacks categorized Chemical Diversified industry in the past three months. While the company's shares gained 37.8% over this period, the industry recorded a gain of 13.9%.
Methanex is gaining from healthy demand despite the global economic weakness and a few challenges. The company remains committed to boost shareholder returns, leveraging its strong liquidity position.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Methanex currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Other well-placed companies in the basic materials space include BASF SE BASFY , Kronos Worldwide Inc KRO and United States Steel Corporation X , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
BASF has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 7.71%.
Kronos Worldwide has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 5%.
U.S. Steel has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 8%.
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