IHS Chemical Week


Chemical Finance Digest, Apr. 2-6

12:13 PM MDT | April 10, 2012 | By VINCENT VALK

Topping the headlines last week, PPG is planning a major restructuring that will eliminate 2,000 jobs, mostly in Europe. Nevertheless, the company expects first-quarter earnings to total $1.75-$1.80/share, exceeding current analysts estimates of $1.44/share.
Other earnings news was mostly positive. Monsanto first-quarter profits were up 19%, and beat analysts’ estimates. H.C. Starck’s full-year 2011 Ebitda rose 90%, as the company’s private equity owners consider an IPO. However, A. Schulman’s fiscal second-quarter earnings fell short of estimates as volumes fell.
In M&A news, Indorama has completed the previously announced $795-million acquisition of Old World Industries’ chemical assets, mostly consisting of an ethylene oxide plant in Texas. Meanwhile, Cytec has acquired the manufacturing assets of an Indian specialty chemicals firm for $37 million.
In macroeconomic news, U.S. job figures for March were disappointing. Only 120,000 new jobs were added, far below expectations. However, “our read is that March is understating the underlying improvement in the labor market, while January and February overstated it,” says IHS Global Insight economist Nigel Gault. Meanwhile, light vehicle sales had “another good month” in March, at a 14.3-million unit annualized rate, “setting a solid pace of the recovering industry,” IHS Global Insight says.

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