Eastman Chemical, a specialty materials company based in Kingsport, Tennessee, reported a decline in sales in the fourth quarter. The company attributed this to weaker end-market demand and falling selling prices.
In the quarter, Eastman Chemical achieved a profit of $2.61 per share, in comparison to just 1 cent per share in the same period a year earlier. This surpassed analysts' expectations of $1.26 per share, according to FactSet.
When excluding certain one-time items, adjusted per-share earnings stood at $1.31, slightly surpassing analysts' forecast of $1.30.
Revenue for the quarter dropped by 7% to $2.21 billion, which was consistent with analysts' estimates.
Eastman Chemical stated that the decline in revenue was primarily driven by a 5% lower selling price due to lower raw material prices, as well as a 2% lower sales volume/mix resulting from weaker end-market demand and inventory destocking in some markets.
Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, Chief Executive Mark Costa expressed satisfaction with the company's solid fourth-quarter results. He mentioned that weak primary demand was primarily due to seasonal declines and continued customer inventory destocking, particularly in key end markets such as agriculture and medical.
Looking ahead, Eastman Chemical projects earnings of $7.25 to $8 per share by 2024. This falls short of analysts' expectations of $7.71 per share as polled by FactSet.
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