UPDATE 2-Huntsman profit beats on higher polyurethane prices

Fri Nov 2, 2012 9:56am 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

* Shares jump in morning trading

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Chemical maker Huntsman Corp posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, as it successfully raised prices on polyurethane used in foam insulation, sending shares up more than 6 percent.

Over the past two quarters, the company's polyurethane business has helped offset weak sales in its pigments division, which makes the paint pigment titanium dioxide (Ti02).

DuPont, a key Huntsman rival and the world's largest Ti02 maker, said last month 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.

Huntsman successfully raised polyurethane prices around the world, and saw demand especially strong in Europe and Asia among customers that make adhesives and composite wood products.

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 rose 7.5 percent to $16.69 in Friday morning trading. The stock has gained more than 65 percent so far this year.

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