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Rohm and Haas expects sales for the 4h quarter to be higher.

Published on 2003-01-15. Author : SpecialChem

 

Rohm and Haas Co., with facilities in Lower Gwynedd, expects sales for the fourth quarter to be 4 to 5 percent higher than the same period in 2001. However, several key businesses are showing weakening demand, compared to earlier expectations, particularly in December, the company said.

"While our year-over-year sales comparisons are favorable, we are experiencing the impact of some weakening in higher value businesses, such as coatings, plastics additives and electronics materials," said Raj Gupta, Rohm and Haas chairman and CEO.
"In the first half of the quarter, we were tracking along expectations," he said, "but results in late November and December appear to be impacted by inventory reductions by some of our customers and slowing in some end markets."

The expected sales increase for the fourth quarter reflects an almost 20-percent improvement, year-over-year, in electronic materials, and an approximately 15-percent increase in sales for coatings, of which 5 percent represents the impact of the recently acquired European powder coatings business of Ferro Corp.
Sales for adhesives and sealants will be down almost 15 percent. However, after adjusting for the sales from the exited liquid polysulfide business, the sales in this business will be up approximately 5 percent.
Third-party sales in performance chemicals and sales for the salt business are expected to be relatively flat on a year-over-year comparison.
Fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations, excluding unusual items, are expected to be in the range of 21 cents to 24 cents per share, as compared to earnings of 28 cents per share for the same period in 2001.

The company expects to have one-time unusual charges for business restructuring and related expenses, largely offset by unusual gains, which will affect full-quarter earnings reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

"We are clearly disappointed by the fourth-quarter earnings performance, largely driven by weakening demand toward the end of the year, poorer sales mix and one-time costs," said Gupta. "However, the company will report full-year 2002 operating earnings more than 25 percent higher than the previous year, and free cash flow, after dividend, in excess of $350 million." Rohm and Haas will issue its fourth-quarter and full-year 2002 earnings results Feb. 4, before the opening of the New York Stock Exchange.


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