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Earnings Are Mixed at Basic and Diversified Chemical Firms

10:47 AM MDT | May 7, 2008 | Nancy Seewald and Kerri Walsh

Higher volumes and selling prices helped boost first-quarter earnings at some basic and diversified chemical firms, while other producers were unable to offset significant increases in raw material costs. Eastman Chemical’s earnings from continuing operations were $115 million, a 24% gain over the year-ago quarter, on strength in fibers and narrower losses in polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Excluding asset impairment and other charges, earnings were $1.48/share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.30/share, as reported by First Call (Boston). Sales...

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