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Ashland Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: ASH

Our adjusted EBITDA was $381 million, a 24% increase over the $307 million of pro forma adjusted EBITDA in the prior year quarter.

Slide 4 details our key items. In total, 3 key items had a net unfavorable EPS impact on continuing operations of $0.04 in the June 2012 quarter. The first key item is a $2 million after-tax charge, or a negative $0.02 per share, related to the ISP integration and cost restructuring efforts we've previously described. We have continued to make progress toward our overall cost reduction goal, and you'll hear more about this from Lamar.

The second key item is a $4 million after-tax charge, or a negative $0.06 per share, related to adjustments to environmental reserves during the quarter. This increase was associated with legacy sites unrelated to ongoing operations.

The last key item is on the net gain or loss on acquisitions and divestitures line and amounts to a $3 million after-tax benefit, or a positive $0.04 per share. This benefit stems from the transfer of a portion of Ashland Water Technologies' middle-market commercial business to Rochester Midland. This business transfer was completed early in the quarter and allows Water Technologies to focus on higher-margin, higher-growth opportunities.

In the year ago quarter, 2 key items combined for a net unfavorable impact on earnings of $0.06 per share. To aid in your analysis versus the peer group, Ashland's results included $29 million of intangible amortization expense during the June 2012 quarter. We carry higher-than-average amortization due to our corporate transformation and prior acquisitions. Without this amortization, earnings would be roughly $0.25 higher or $2.29 per share. Please turn to Slide 5 for Ashland's adjusted pro forma results. As a reminder, results are presented on a pro forma basis, including a full quarter of ISP in the June 2011 quarter. The year ago quarter also includes stepped-up depreciation and amortization related to purchase accounting.

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