* Second-quarter profit drops but beats forecasts
* Eastman completed $3.4 bln Solutia buyout
* Company sees full-year earnings topping forecasts
July 30 (Reuters) - Eastman Chemical Co posted quarterly profit on Monday that beat forecasts, as lower supply costs helped offset a drop in demand for specialty plastics.
For the second quarter, the company said net income fell to $179 million, or $1.26 per share, from $220 million, or $1.51 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding one-time items, including costs to integrate rival Solutia, the company earned $1.40 per share.
By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $1.30 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Analysts expected $1.94 billion in revenue.
Eastman this month completed its $3.4 billion buyout of specialty chemicals maker Solutia Inc, part of a strategy to boost margins by growing in niche markets. Solutia makes a key ingredient in tire production, as well as parts for Apple’s iPad and Amazon.com’s Kindle.
Eastman said on Monday it still expects to earn $5.30 per share this year, which is above the $5.17 per share that Wall Street expects.
“Despite persistent global economic uncertainty, we continue to expect double-digit year-over-year earnings growth resulting from the solid performance of heritage Eastman businesses and second-half earnings from the acquired Solutia businesses,” Eastman Chief Executive Jim Rogers said in a statement.
During the second quarter, demand dipped for acetate tow, a key fiber used to make cigarette filters and felt-tipped pens. In the company’s largest segment, a drop in demand for coatings was offset by cheaper raw material supply costs.
Eastman’s stock has jumped 31 percent so far this year, closing Monday at $51 per share.