I have tried 2x times and my post below is showing up without paragraphs - some problem with Yahoo. Sorry.
I attended the conference and was very impressed with all of the personnel and the single facility we toured. They have some really smart people working there. I think all the analysts realize they have at least another 6 months before the facility in China comes online and clarifies all doubts about capacities and cost. The biggest issues is they do not have enough cash to take this to the next level (ie open 3-5 plants in China and Indonesia).
They did not say so but I get the inkling that the politics in both countries will not allow them to do it alone even if they had the cash. We would not let a Chinese company come into the US and begin producing 10-15% of the fuel in America. I don't think that is a downside, simply a fine line they will have to walk and probably continued joint ventures in both countries.
Their other business units are quite impressive and their increased focus on being involved with their customers from design to bid is good to see. I think the non-ethanol SBU's will see well above GDP growth in a relatively tight margin business.
The holy grail is China and Indonesia transportation ethanol combined with a change in policy in the US. I think it is coming but it might be years out. BTW, I was fascinated to find out how much cleaner 10-15% ethanol makes gasoline over the old additives. It makes me realize we are not going back and ethanol is here to stay.
problem is the other businesses have been going backward or are marginal performers at best. highlights seem to be Acetate, and all the affiliate businesses. In acetate Eastman just set up new JV's in China long a stronghold for CE. In the specialty engineering polymers business many new players in China and Arabia are building plants to compete with CE. this will bring down margins. they don't talk about the emulsions business why?