While Eastman continues to move forward with its product launches, it still must address the current economic conditions. The company announced full-year 2008 results. As expected, the company reported losses. Eastman Chemical posted a loss of $0.03 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2008 versus earnings from continuing operations of $1.25 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2007.
“The current global recession has resulted in an unprecedented decline in demand and negatively impacted our fourth-quarter results," said Brian Ferguson, chairman and CEO. "The strategic actions we have taken over the last five years, as well as the cost reduction measures we recently announced, position us to weather the current storm and rebound decisively when demand recovers.”
By segment, the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialty Polymers and Inks sales revenue declined 14% from fourth quarter 2007 to fourth quarter 2008 as a result of lower sales volume.
However, year-on-year results increased by 5% due to higher selling prices. The higher selling prices were mainly the result of efforts to offset higher raw material and energy costs.
Regarding the company’s Performance Chemicals and Intermediates segment, sales revenue declined 27% from fourth quarter 2007 to fourth quarter 2008, due primarily to lower sales volume.
However, year-on-year results showed sales revenue increased 3% due to higher selling prices.
Commenting on the outlook for first quarter and full-year 2009, Ferguson said, “While we expect the weak demand in fourth quarter 2008 to continue in first quarter 2009, our capacity utilization likely reached its lowest point in December. We anticipate that our capacity utilization will improve through the first quarter due to a modest increase in demand, and on average be slightly higher in first quarter 2009 compared with fourth quarter 2008. As a result, we expect our first quarter earnings per share to be slightly higher than fourth quarter earnings per share excluding gains and charges related to strategic and cost cutting actions and other income in fourth quarter 2008.”
Eastman Chemical is a Chemical Processing 50 company.
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