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Utah's Huntsman Corp. reports lower revenue, Q1 loss

Published April 30, 2013 7:31 pm

Outlook • Sales rebound expected throughout the remainder of 2013.
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Huntsman Corp., the worldwide chemicals conglomerate based in Salt Lake City and The Woodlands, Texas, reported lower revenue and a loss for the first quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, compared with the same period a year ago.

The company reported that its revenue for the period ended March 3 fell to $2.7 billion, a decline of 7 percent from revenue of $2.9 billion generated in the first quarter of the prior year. And for the quarter, Huntsman posted a loss of $24 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with a profit of $163 million, or 68 cents per share, last year.

"I believe we were seeing the effect of a slowing global economy," particularly in Europe, where the company's sales were down 10 percent year-over-year, said Peter Huntsman, the company's CEO and president.

During the first quarter, the company reported it saw a decrease in revenue generated at four of its five primary divisions, declines that were partially offset by higher average selling prices for those divisions' products.

Looking ahead, the CEO said he anticipates that all of the corporation's divisions, save one, will end up posting results that will be as good or better than in 2012. Earlier this year, Huntsman had described fiscal 2012 as the company's best year ever.

"I probably see a little bit larger storm clouds in Europe, but I think North America, I think Asia, I think even parts of Latin America are better than where they were a few months ago," Huntsman said, commenting on the company's primary regional markets during a conference call Tuesday morning with securities analysts who follow the company.

Only the company's pigment division isn't expected to see an increase in sales this year.

Kimo Esplin, Huntsman's chief financial officer, said that many of the pigment division's customers last year purchased large quantities of titanium dioxide — a product that is used to whiten paints and plastics — and are overstocked with that product.

As a result, the company isn't expecting a turnaround in that division until the end of the year.

Peter Huntsman pointed out that the company's first-quarter results were impacted to the tune of $55 million as a result of a planned maintenance shutdown of its Port Neches, Texas, facility.

He pointed out that absent the $55 million loss as a result of the maintenance shutdown, Huntsman would have had one of the strongest first quarters ever in its performance products division, which manufacturers industrial solvents and other compounds found in mouthwashes, tooth pastes and detergents. —

Utah's Huntsman Corp. • What it produces

The company's production is centered on five primary divisions that combined represent more than 2,000 different products.

Polyurethanes • Used in foams, insulation and adhesives

Performance products • Industrial solvents, also compounds found in mouthwashes, tooth pastes, detergents

Advanced materials • Epoxies and resins, used in adhesives and other industrial applications

Textile effects • Dyes and chemicals, used to color fabrics and give cloths wrinkle resistance

Pigments • Paints and coatings