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Lubrizol 4Q Profit Up, Guides Higher
Monday February 7, 9:39 am ET

Specialty Chemical Maker Lubrizol's Fourth-Quarter Earnings Rise; Raises Guidance

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Specialty chemical maker Lubrizol Corp. on Monday said its fourth-quarter profit increased on acquisitions, favorable exchange rates and improved volumes.

The results sharply beat Wall Street expectations when excluding certain items.

Fourth quarter net income was $19.9 million, or 30 cents per share per share, up from $11.1 million, or 21 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding restructuring charges related to the closure of the Bromborough, United Kingdom plant and severance costs from work force reductions in 2004, earnings per share rose to 51 cents from 40 cents. Average outstanding shares increased to 66.6 million from 51.8 million.

Revenue rose to $936.8 million from $519.4 million. Excluding acquisitions, revenues increased 14 percent. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call predicted a profit of 39 cents per share. On Nov. 1, Lubrizol give fourth-quarter guidance calling for earnings of 35 cents to 40 cents per share.

For the full year, earnings grew to $93.5 million, or $1.68 per share, from $90.8 million, or $1.76 per share, last year. Excluding restructuring charges, in-process research and development and a currency-forward contract gain in 2004, earnings per share rose 20 percent to $2.47 from $2.05. The number of outstanding shares increased to 55.7 million from 51.7 million, and revenue grew to $3.16 billion from $2.05 billion.

Analysts predicted a profit of $2.36 per share on revenue of $3.11 billion. The company previously said it would post earnings of $2.28 to $2.33 per share for 2004.

Looking forward, Lubrizol projected 2005 earnings of $2.72 to $2.87 per share, or $2.75 to $2.90 per share excluding a restructuring charge related to the closure of its British plant of 3 cents per share. Analysts expect profit of $2.57 per share.

For the first quarter, the company expects earnings of 66 cents to 72 cents per share, or 67 cents to 73 cents per share excluding a restructuring charge. Analysts forecast earnings of 57 cents per share, down from the 64 cents posted a year ago.

Source: Associated Press

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