Earnings for the quarter are expected to be in the range of $.40 to $.42 per share, versus earnings of $.33 per share for the same period a year ago, adjusted for SFAS 142 impact.
The sales growth reflects a more than 25 percent improvement in year-over-year results in Electronic Materials, a 7 to 9 percent sales increase for Performance Chemicals, and 5 to 7 percent sales growth in Coatings. The Adhesives and Sealants business sales for the quarter will be down over 5 percent from the comparable period in 2001 due to the impact of the exited liquid polysulfide business, although same business sales are expected to be up 6 to 8 percent. The Salt business continued to perform well, with sales expected to be flat on a year over year comparison.
Impacting the companys earlier earnings expectations for the third quarter of mid $.40s per share is $.02 - $.03 per share for the previously announced outage at the companys methyl methacrylate (MMA) facility in Houston, Texas, as well as $.01 per share as a result of a freight provider bankruptcy. The MMA facility in Houston was restarted in September and is now operating normally, however inventories remain significantly below normal levels as demand for downstream derivatives remains strong.
While there is continued uncertainty in the global economic environment, our ability to generate high single digit sales growth over the same period last year reflects our strong portfolio, the receptivity of new products and technologies and our ability to meet customer needs, notes Raj Gupta, chairman and CEO.
Gupta commented that the improvements in Electronic Materials demand over the same period in 2001 reflects strengthening in the overall industry, however the industrys seasonally driven up-tick in the second half of the year is lagging. The sales growth in Performance Chemicals reflects good demand not only for monomers, but also for biocides and for plastics additives. Coatings continues to see strong consumer-driven demand, particularly for architectural paints, as well as automotive coatings, which benefits from car sales boosted by low financing offerings. Adhesives and Sealants is experiencing weakness in Latin American and North American markets, while Europe and Asia-Pacific remain strong in the packaging and transportation adhesive markets.
The company will release its third quarter 2002 earnings results before the New York Stock Exchange opens on Friday, October 25, 2002.