UPDATE 1-Huntsman profit beats on higher polyurethane prices

Fri Nov 2, 2012 8:39am EDT

* Third-quarter adj profit $0.70/ share vs est $0.52/share

* Total revenue $2.74 bln vs est $2.9 bln

* Polyurethane revenue rises 3 pct

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Chemical maker Huntsman Corp posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit as it raised prices of some polyurethane products used in foam insulation due to strong demand in Europe and Asia.

Over the past two quarters, the company's polyurethane business has helped offset weak sales in its pigments division, which makes products used in paints and coatings, plastics, paper, printing inks, fibers and ceramics.

DuPont also said that its pigment business has been a drag on the company, forcing it to slash jobs and cut its full-year profit forecast.

Revenue in Huntsman's polyurethane business, its biggest, rose 3 percent in the third quarter, while revenue from pigments fell 30 percent. Total revenue fell 8 percent to $2.74 billion.

The company reported a profit of $116 million, or 48 cents per share, in the third quarter, compared with a net loss of $34 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Huntsman earned 70 cents per share. Analysts on average expected a profit 51 cents per share, on revenue of $2.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Huntsman shares, which have risen 55 percent this year, closed at $15.53 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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