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Fibers sales revenue declines at Eastman

Jan '10
Eastman Chemical Company announced a loss of $0.44 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2009 versus a loss of $0.03 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2008. Excluding the items described below for both periods, fourth-quarter 2009 earnings were $1.14 per diluted share, while fourth-quarter 2008 earnings were $0.05 per diluted share. For reconciliations to reported company and segment earnings, see Tables 3 and 5 in the accompanying financial tables.

Included in results for fourth quarter 2009 were non-cash asset impairments and restructuring charges, net, of $177 million, primarily for the discontinued Beaumont, Texas, industrial gasification project. Fourth-quarter 2008 results included asset impairments and restructuring charges, net, of $24 million, accelerated depreciation costs of $1 million, and other operating income of $16 million.

“The strategic portfolio actions that have strengthened our core businesses and the decisive actions to reduce costs in response to the global recession led to solid performance in 2009 that was significantly better than the last recession,” said Jim Rogers, president and CEO. “We are well positioned for earnings to improve going forward as the global economy rebounds, and we remain focused on strong cash generation.”

Sales revenue for fourth quarter 2009 was $1.3 billion, a 1 percent decline compared to fourth quarter 2008. Fourth-quarter 2009 and 2008 sales revenue included contract ethylene sales, and fourth quarter 2008 sales revenue also included contract polymer intermediates sales. Excluding these sales, revenue increased 2 percent as sales volume increased 12 percent and selling prices declined 10 percent. The increase in sales volume was due to improved demand compared to the depressed level in fourth quarter 2008 while selling prices declined due to the global recession. For reconciliations to reported company and segment sales revenue, see Tables 2 and 4 in the accompanying financial tables.

Operating results in fourth quarter 2009 were a loss of $30 million compared to operating earnings of $5 million in fourth quarter 2008. Excluding asset impairments and restructuring charges, net, fourth-quarter 2009 operating earnings were $147 million. Fourth-quarter 2008 operating earnings, excluding asset impairments and restructuring charges, net, accelerated depreciation costs, and other operating income, were $14 million. The increase in operating earnings was primarily due to lower raw material and energy costs, increased sales volume and the favorable impact of higher capacity utilization, and cost reduction actions, partially offset by lower selling prices.

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Eastman Chemical Company

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