Huntsman tops estimates, strong growth in MDI

February 15, 2017 | Rebecca Coons

Huntsman reports income of $137 million for the fourth quarter, up from $9 million in the year-ago period. Sales increased 2.7% year-over-year (YOY) to $2.395 billion. Adjusted earnings of $0.30/share, down 41% YOY, beat the average analyst estimate of $0.25, as compiled by Thomson Reuters (New York). The most significant adjustment to earnings was a $0.34/share gain from the $225 million sale of Huntsman's European surfactants business, which was completed on 30 December 2016.

"MDI [methylene di-para-phenylene isocyanate] urethanes continues to show steady and impressive growth, with differentiated MDI sales volumes growing 6% compared to last year and representing 85% of MDI urethanes EBITDA," says Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO. "Advanced materials and textile effects have become solid performers with steady and modestly improving earnings. Our performance products business is poised for recovery in 2017. As TiO2 [titanium dioxide] prices have rebounded, our pigments and additives division saw earnings double from 2015 and we expect earnings to improve meaningfully in 2017, due largely to price increases in TiO2 and the cumulative benefits of restructuring." The company is still working toward the spinoff of its TiO2 business as Venator.