Eastman Announces First-Quarter 2019 Financial Results

KINGSPORT, Tenn., Apr 26, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) - Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) announced its first-quarter 2019 financial results.
(In millions, except per share amounts)                  1Q19     1Q18
Sales revenue                                          $2,380   $2,607
Earnings before interest and taxes ("EBIT")               320      409
Adjusted EBIT*                                            352      459
Earnings per diluted share                               1.49     2.00
Adjusted earnings per diluted share*                     1.77     2.23
Net cash used in operating activities                     (5)     (35)
Free cash flow*                                         (111)    (113)
*For non-core and unusual items (including related to the previously reported coal gasification incident) excluded from adjusted earnings and for adjusted provision for income taxes, calculation of free cash flow and of segment adjusted EBIT margins, and reconciliations to reported company and segment earnings and to cash used in operating activities, see Tables 1, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 5A and 5B.

"We began 2019 with many of the challenges from the fourth quarter continuing in the first quarter, including reduced demand for specialty products in China and Europe resulting from trade issues, which also reduced flow through of lower-cost raw materials," said Mark Costa, Board Chair and CEO. "Despite these challenges, adjusted EBIT increased by 28 percent in the first quarter from the fourth quarter demonstrating that we are gaining momentum. The contributions of our innovation-driven growth model continue to give us confidence in the resiliency of our portfolio and the sustainability of our cash flow going forward." See Table 4A for reconciliation of fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted EBIT to reported EBIT.

Segment Results 1Q 2019 versus 1Q 2018

Additives & Functional Products - Sales revenue decreased particularly for adhesives resins products attributed to continued competitive pressures and for tire additives products attributed to global trade-related pressures. In addition, sales revenue was negatively impacted by an unfavorable shift in foreign currency exchange rates and lower selling prices, particularly for care chemicals due to cost pass-through contracts.

Reported and adjusted EBIT decreased primarily due to lower sales volume and an unfavorable shift in foreign currency exchange rates.

Advanced Materials - Sales revenue decreased primarily due to lower specialty plastics sales volume and an unfavorable shift in foreign currency exchange rates. The lower specialty plastics sales volume was attributed to continued customer inventory destocking related to uncertainty caused by the U.S. - China trade dispute. Performance films and advanced interlayers volume and product mix was relatively unchanged.

Reported and adjusted EBIT decreased primarily due to lower sales volume and an unfavorable shift in foreign currency exchange rates.

Chemical Intermediates - Sales revenue decreased primarily due to lower bulk ethylene sales volume resulting from the refinery-grade propylene investment, which reduced bulk ethylene production while maintaining propylene production. Sales revenue was also negatively impacted by lower selling prices resulting from lower market prices due to raw material price declines primarily for a few olefin products, particularly glycols.

Reported EBIT increased due to coal gasification incident net costs in first quarter 2018. Adjusted EBIT decreased primarily due to lower sales volume and selling prices declining slightly more than raw material costs primarily for a few olefin products, particularly glycols.

Fibers - Sales revenue decreased primarily due to lower acetate tow sales volume, attributed to China trade-related issues and other customer buying patterns, as well as lower acetate tow selling prices.

Reported EBIT included coal gasification incident net costs in first quarter 2018. Reported and adjusted EBIT decreased primarily due to lower acetate tow sales volume somewhat offset by increased textiles products sales volume and lower raw material costs.

Cash Flow

The company continues to expect to generate greater than $1.1 billion of free cash flow (cash from operating activities less net capital expenditures) in 2019. Priorities for uses of available cash include payment of the quarterly dividend, repayment of debt, funding targeted growth initiatives, and repurchasing shares.

In first quarter 2019, $5 million net cash was used in operating activities and free cash flow was $(111) million due to a normal seasonal working capital increase. In first quarter 2019, the company returned $212 million to stockholders, with $87 million of dividends and $125 million of share repurchases. See Tables 5A and 5B.

2019 Outlook

Commenting on the outlook for full-year 2019, Costa said: "We delivered strong sequential earnings growth in the first quarter and expect strong sequential earnings growth in the second quarter. We are doing a good job of sequentially increasing spreads in specialty products, while also driving new business growth leveraging our innovation-driven growth model. However, we are operating in a difficult global business environment in the first half of the year as challenges from the fourth quarter persist. These include slow global economic growth in part due to the delay in settling the U.S.-China trade dispute, slow flow through of lower-cost raw materials, and a stronger U.S. dollar. Given the difficult global business environment in the first half of the year and our commitment to stockholder value creation, we are taking additional aggressive cost reduction actions. Looking forward, we see signs that the macro economic challenges are lessening with an improvement in orders in March and April, which gives us confidence that the global economy will continue to strengthen in the back half of this year. Taking all of this together, we continue to expect 2019 adjusted EPS growth to be between 6 - 10 percent."

The full-year 2019 projected earnings exclude any non-core, unusual or non-recurring items in the remaining nine months of 2019 and assume that the adjusted effective rate detailed in Tables 4A and 4B for the first three months of 2019 will be the actual rate for the full year 2019. Our 2019 financial results forecasts do not include non-core items (such as mark-to-market pension and other postretirement benefit gain or loss) or any unusual or non-recurring items, and we accordingly are unable to reconcile projected full-year 2019 earnings excluding non-core and any unusual or non-recurring items to reported GAAP earnings without unreasonable efforts.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements concerning current expectations and assumptions for future global economic conditions; competitive position and acceptance of specialty products in key markets; mix of products sold; raw material and energy prices and costs, and other costs; and revenue, earnings, and cash flow for full-year 2019. Such expectations and assumptions are based upon certain preliminary information, internal estimates, and management assumptions, expectations, and plans, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties inherent in projecting future conditions, events, and results. Actual results could differ materially from expectations and assumptions expressed in the forward-looking statements if one or more of the underlying assumptions or expectations prove to be inaccurate or are unrealized. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such expectations are and will be detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Form 10-K filed for 2018 available, and the Form 10-Q to be filed for first quarter 2019 and to be available, on the Eastman web site at www.eastman.com in the Investors, SEC filings section.

Conference Call and Webcast Information

Eastman will host a conference call with industry analysts on April 26, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. ET. To listen to the live webcast of the conference call and view the accompanying slides, go to www.investors.eastman.com, Events & Presentations. The slides to be discussed during the call and webcast will be available at www.investors.eastman.com at approximately 5:00 p.m. ET on April 25, 2019. To listen via telephone, the dial-in number is 323-794-2093, passcode number 6973429. A web replay, a replay in downloadable MP3 format, and the accompanying slides will be available at www.investors.eastman.com, Events & Presentations. A telephone replay will be available continuously from 11:00 a.m. ET, April 26, 2019 to 11:00 a.m. ET, May 6, 2019 at 888-203-1112 or 719-457-0820, passcode 6973429.

Eastman is a global advanced materials and specialty additives company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in more than 100 countries and had 2018 revenues of approximately $10 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 14,500 people around the world. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.

Media: Tracy Kilgore Addington
423-224-0498 / tracy@eastman.com

Investors: Greg Riddle
212-835-1620 / griddle@eastman.com

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Source: Eastman Chemical Company via Globenewswire

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