Huntsman profit beats on higher polyurethane prices
(Reuters) - Chemical maker Huntsman Corp (HUN.N) 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 (DD.N), 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.
(Reporting by Divya Lad in Bangalore and Ernest Scheyder in New York; Editing by Roshni Menon)
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