Hunstman

(HUN) - Get Report

shares sunk 10% Friday after the company said slumping demand for its industrial chemical products led to a loss in its first quarter.

The company, spurned late last year by its privately held rival Hexion in a merger deal gone sour, said it lost $290 million, or $1.24 a share.

Adjusted to exclude a tax allowance for its U.K. operations and to reflect the disbursement of several businesses between this year and last, Huntsman said it lost $128 million, or 55 cents a share. That's still far worse than analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters, of a 22-cent loss on an EPS basis.

Revenue slid 33% to $1.69 billion from $2.54 billion a year ago.

Despite the bleak results overall, the company said it began to see signs of a rebound toward the end of the period. "Although average demand for the quarter was soft, in fact it was softer than the fourth quarter, we did see positive order patterns within the first quarter and left the quarter with stronger demand than we entered," Huntsman's president and chief executive, Peter Huntsman, said in a prepared statement.

Huntsman shares were trading Friday afternoon at $5.34, down 9%, on nearly double the daily average volume.

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