Eastman Chemical (EMN) Q1 2012 Earnings Call April 27, 2012 8:00 am ET Executives Gregory A. Riddle - Director of Investor Relations James P. Rogers - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ronald C. Lindsay - Executive Vice President of Pci, Fibers, Engineering & Construction and Manufacturing Support Curtis E. Espeland - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President Analysts Frank J. Mitsch - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division David L. Begleiter - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division Kevin W. McCarthy - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division Robert Koort - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division Jeffrey J. Zekauskas - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division Nils-Bertil Wallin - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division Jeffrey Stafford - Morningstar Inc., Research Division Presentation Operator
Second, certain Eastman financial measures referenced in this presentation are non-GAAP financial measures, such as earnings per share and operating earnings and excludes transaction and financing costs related to the pending acquisition of Solutia and another postretirement plan gain. Also referenced, our cash from operations excluding capital expenditures and dividend. A reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures and other associated disclosures, including a description of the transaction of financing cost related to the pending acquisition of Solutia and other postretirement plan gain, are available on our first quarter financial results news release and the tables accompanying the news release available at www.investors.eastman.comLastly, we have posted slides that accompany our remarks for this morning's call on our website, again at www.investors.eastman.com, and they're located in the Presentations and Events section. With that, I'll turn the call over to Jim. James P. Rogers Thanks, Greg, and good morning, everyone. And you'd hopefully noticed Greg mentioned that Ron Lindsay is on the call with us this morning. Ron is one of 2 EVPs here along with Mark Costa. Ron has Fibers and PCI and I imagine many of you have met Ron, and I'm pleased to have him on the call. Just to show that I'm a very generous CEO, he has a bit of good news and rather than me saying it, I'm going to let Ron say it because it was his team that worked on it. Plus I'm guessing there may just be 1 or 2 questions on cracker spreads, et cetera, so Ron's probably the right man to have with us here on the call. As I normally do, I'll start with an update on our most recent outlook statements. Back in January, we said we expected first quarter 2012 earnings per share to be between $1.05 and $1.15. This guidance was given prior to the implementation of a pension accounting change we announced in March, and Curt will have more on that in his remarks. With the pension accounting changed, we reported first quarter EPS of $1.22, which is on a comparable basis, it's near the top of our range. We also said that we expect to make progress this year on a number of organic growth initiatives, and you will hear this morning that we have completed several capacity expansions recently, and our Perennial Wood product is on the shelves in 50 Lowe's stores.
In addition, we said we expect to close the Solutia acquisition by midyear 2012, and we remain on track to do just that. And we guided full year 2012 EPS to be approximately $5 and that the pension accounting change would add approximately $0.30 per share, so we are confirming our full year EPS guidance, and I'll talk more about that in a few minutes.Moving to Slide 4. As I mentioned, last night we reported EPS of $1.22. Revenue increased 4%, primarily reflecting higher selling prices. Operating earnings declined year-over-year in each of the segments, except Fibers, and we increased our spending in Other as we continue to fund organic growth initiatives such as Perennial Wood. Sequentially, operating earnings increased by almost $100 million, reflecting a nice bounce back from the challenging fourth quarter business environment and seasonally stronger sales volume, which increased 8% sequentially. Now to the segments, starting with CASPI on Slide 5. CASPI began 2012 with a strong quarter. Operating earnings were $98 million, down somewhat from first quarter '11 as there were some pre-buying in the polymers product lines in the year ago quarter, but up about $40 million from the fourth quarter, helped by seasonally higher sales volume, which increased 12% sequentially. Looking at our expectations for full year 2012, all of CASPI's main product lines are operating at high levels. They're also benefiting from the Regalite hydrocarbon resin expansion completed during fourth quarter 2011. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com