* Fourth-quarter revenue down 0.5 percent to $2.62 billion
* Adjusted EPS $0.24 vs est. $0.23
* Sees improvement in pigments in second half of 2013
Feb 12 Chemical maker Huntsman Corp's
quarterly profit scraped past Wall Street estimates as higher
sales of polyurethane, used in foam insulation, offset weak
demand for paint pigment.
Revenue in Huntsman's polyurethane business, its biggest,
rose 13 percent in the fourth quarter on strong global demand
that allowed the company to raise prices. The housing and
automotive recovery in North America also helped boost demand.
The polyurethane business brought in nearly half of the
revenue during the quarter and helped make up for a 28 percent
fall in sales in Huntsman's pigments division, which makes
titanium dioxide used in paints.
Titanium dioxide particles create the whiteness in paints
and car coatings. The chemical is also used as a sunblock in
skin cream and to take the shine out of synthetic fiber.
Rival DuPont, the world's largest titanium dioxide
maker, said last month that weak demand for the pigment weighed
on its fourth-quarter profit.
Prices for the pigment came under pressure last year as the
plants idled in 2009 came back on line even as demand remained
Earnings at the pigments division, which contributed nearly
11 percent of fourth-quarter revenue, are likely to improve in
the second half of 2013, Chief Executive Peter Huntsman said in
Excluding one-time items, Huntsman earned 24 cents per share
in the fourth quarter. Analysts were looking for 23 cents per
share on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net sales fell marginally to $2.62 billion, but were above
the $2.49 billion analysts were expecting.
Huntsman reported a net loss of $40 million, or 17 cents per
share, due to restructuring costs and early extinguishment of
The company posted a profit of $105 million, or 44 cents
per share, a year earlier.
Huntsman shares, which have gained nearly a fifth this year,
closed at $19.07 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.