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Westlake soars on shale advantage; Kraton’s loss widens on charge

10:12 AM MST | March 1, 2013 | ­—Clay Boswell and Lindsay Frost

Westlake Chemical and Kraton Performance Polymers posted divergent results for the fiscal quarter ended 31 December 2012. Westlake’s fourth-quarter earnings more than tripled from the year-ago quarter, since cheap ethane continues to drive significant cost advantages for US ethylene producers, while Kraton posted stronger volumes but weaker margins. Westlake reports fourth-quarter net income of $95.3 million, or $1.42/diluted share, up 260% and 255%, respectively, from the same year-ago quarter. Net sales for the quarter totaled $801.0 million, down 6.8%...

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