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Eastman establishes new level of earnings performance
29
Apr '11
Eastman Chemical Company announced earnings from continuing operations of $2.52 per diluted share for first quarter 2011 versus $1.43 per diluted share for first quarter 2010.

"We continue to demonstrate that we have established a new level of earnings performance for the company," said Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO. "We grew volume year over year in every business segment and in every region of the world. Furthermore, we remain well positioned for future growth with our solid balance sheet, which was further strengthened by the cash from the sale of the PET business.”

Sales revenue for first quarter 2011 was $1.8 billion, a 28 percent increase compared with first quarter 2010 due to higher sales volume and higher selling prices. The higher sales volume was attributed to strengthened end-use demand primarily in the packaging, transportation, and other markets and the positive impact of growth initiatives. The higher selling prices were in response to higher raw material and energy costs and were also attributed to strengthened demand, particularly in the U.S., and tight industry supply.

Operating earnings in first quarter 2011 increased to $284 million compared with operating earnings of $189 million in first quarter 2010. Operating earnings increased due to higher selling prices and higher sales volume, which more than offset higher raw material and energy costs. First-quarter 2010 operating earnings included $12 million in sales revenue from an acetyl license and were negatively impacted approximately $20 million by an outage at the company's Longview, Texas, manufacturing facility.

Outlook

Commenting on the outlook for second quarter and full year 2011, Rogers said: "We began the year with a very strong first quarter, driven mainly by volume growth throughout the company and higher selling prices. We expect the momentum from the first quarter will continue into the second quarter and for the full year. As a result, we expect second quarter 2011 earnings per share to be slightly higher than first quarter 2011 and full year 2011 earnings per share to be slightly higher than $9. Key variables include whether inflationary pressures negatively impact global demand and the volatility of raw material and energy costs, particularly the spread between prices for propane and propylene."

Segment Results 1Q 2011 versus 1Q 2010

Coatings, Adhesives, Specialty Polymers and Inks – Sales revenue increased by 25 percent due to higher selling prices and higher sales volume. The increase in selling prices was in response to higher raw material and energy costs and also attributed to strengthened demand, particularly in the U.S., and tight industry supply. The higher sales volume was attributed primarily to strengthened end-use demand in the transportation, industrial, and packaging markets, particularly in the U.S. Operating earnings in first quarter 2011 increased to $98 million compared with operating earnings of $65 million in first quarter 2010.

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