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We begin 2011 with strengthening global economy – Eastman CEO
Feb '11
Eastman Chemical Company announced earnings from continuing operations of $0.23 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2010.

These results were negatively impacted by $0.11 per share due to non-deductibility of early distributions under the executive deferred compensation plan as described in the “Income Taxes” paragraph in this release. Fourth-quarter 2009 loss from continuing operations was $0.21 per diluted share.

For reconciliations to reported company and segment earnings, see Tables 3 and 4 in the accompanying financial tables. For description of discontinued operations, see the "Discontinued Operations" paragraph in this release.

“The strength of our portfolio of businesses was clearly demonstrated throughout 2010,” said Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO. “We've established a new level of earnings performance for the company, and we are continuing our efforts to build upon these earnings. In addition, our solid balance sheet and expectation for continued strong cash generation position us for further earnings growth.”

Commenting on the outlook for first quarter and full year 2011, Rogers said: “We begin 2011 with a strengthening global economy and expected benefits from the combination of the restart of an olefin cracking unit, lower interest expense, a full year of results from our Genovique Specialties acquisition, our acetate tow expansion in Korea, and strong market adoption of our Tritan copolyester products.

“We also face headwinds from expected volatility in raw material and energy costs, higher pension expense, and costs related to growth projects. As a result, we expect first-quarter 2011 earnings from continuing operations to be between $1.75 and $1.85 per share. In addition, we expect earnings per share from continuing operations in 2011 to be slightly more than 10 percent above 2010 earnings from continuing operations.”

Gains from the sales of assets are excluded from earnings per share projections.

Sales revenue for fourth quarter 2010 was $1.5 billion; a 23 percent increase compared to fourth quarter 2009 due to higher sales volume and increased selling prices. The higher sales volume was attributed primarily to strengthened end-use demand in packaging, durable goods, and other markets and the positive impact of growth initiatives. The increase in selling prices was in response to higher raw material and energy costs.

Operating earnings in fourth quarter 2010 were $161 million compared to an operating loss of $4 million in fourth quarter 2009. Excluding asset impairments and restructuring charges, net, in both periods, operating earnings in fourth quarter 2010 were $187 million compared with operating earnings of $173 million in fourth quarter 2009. Operating earnings increased primarily due to higher sales volume and increased capacity utilization which led to lower unit costs and higher selling prices which were mostly offset by higher raw material and energy costs.

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Eastman Chemical Company

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