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Cytec Stock Staggers

Shares drop 7% despite a latest-quarter swing to profit.

Cytec Industries

(CYT)

sank 7% Wednesday after the chemical company offered tepid guidance.

The West Paterson, N.J.-based company earned $38 million, or 79 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $6.5 million, or 16 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items, earnings were 82 cents a share in the most recent quarter. On that basis, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 81 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

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First-quarter revenue rose 45.3% to $819.4 million.

For the year 2006, the company expects to earn $3.45 a share to $3.70 a share, on revenue of $3.3 billion to $3.4 billion. The company said that earnings include an after tax stock option expense of $7.7 million or 16 cents a share. Analysts estimate earnings of $3.63 a share on revenue of $3.36 billion.

Revenue from the performance chemicals segment rose 15% to $226 million. Revenue from surface specialties segment more than doubled to $374 million, led by increase in selling volumes and selling price. Revenue from engineered materials rose 9% to $139 million and revenue from building block chemicals rose 12% to $80 million.

"Our first quarter results gave us a positive start to 2006," the company said. " As expected, we have our share of challenges, such as raw material costs which remain volatile and are higher than the year ago period. However, we are encouraged by the continuing improvement in our specialty chemical segments, notably the Surface specialties product lines. Cytec engineered materials had a solid quarter while building block chemicals was impacted by poor margin spreads on acrylonitrile and plant downtime due to scheduled maintenance work."

Shares fell $4.40 to $57.07.

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