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Grace Reports Fourth Quarter 2012 Adjusted EPS Of $1.11 And Provides 2013 Earnings Outlook

Adjusted EBIT of $133.4 million increased 23.3 percent compared with $108.2 million in the prior-year quarter. The increase was due to higher segment operating income in all three operating segments and lower corporate expenses. Adjusted EBIT margin improved to 16.7 percent compared with 13.1 percent in the prior-year quarter.

Adjusted EBIT Return On Invested Capital was 36.3 percent on a trailing four-quarter basis, compared with 35.4 percent for the prior year. The increase in Adjusted EBIT Return On Invested Capital primarily was due to higher earnings and improved working capital.

Full Year Results

Sales for the full year ended December 31, 2012, decreased 1.8 percent to $3.16 billion as improved base pricing (+4.1 percent) and higher sales volumes (+2.9 percent) were offset by lower rare earth surcharges (-5.3 percent) and unfavorable currency translation (-3.5 percent). Sales in emerging regions represented 37.0 percent of sales and grew 15.2 percent compared with the prior year.

Gross profit of $1.17 billion increased 0.4 percent compared with the prior year. Gross margin of 37.0 percent increased 80 basis points compared with the prior year.

Adjusted EBIT was $517.4 million, an increase of 8.1 percent compared with the prior year. The improvement in Adjusted EBIT was due to improved pricing, higher sales volumes and lower expenses.

Catalysts Technologies

Sales down 10.7 percent; segment operating income up 5.9 percent

Fourth quarter sales for the Catalysts Technologies operating segment, which includes specialty catalysts and additives for refinery, plastics and other chemical process applications, were $328.3 million, a decrease of 10.7 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. The decrease was due to lower rare earth surcharges (-20.6 percent) and unfavorable currency translation (-1.8 percent), which more than offset increased sales volumes (+8.0 percent) and improved base pricing (+3.7 percent).

Sales volumes and base pricing of FCC catalysts increased approximately 12 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. Double-digit percentage increases in polypropylene catalyst sales offset lower polyethylene catalyst sales.

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