FMC says it will beat its long-term sales goals

FMC Corp. expects to beat its revenue goals in coming years, increases dividend by 50 percent

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- FMC Corp. expects to beat its own goal of reaching $5 billion in sales by 2015 and increased its dividend, which sent shares of the chemical company up in trading Wednesday.

The company held an investor day in New York where it said it expects to exceed its earlier revenue goal by at least 10 percent This would represent a more than doubling of company revenue since 2009.

"We developed an aggressive, but achievable, strategy to unlock the growth potential of FMC, leading to a larger, more profitable, faster-growing specialty chemicals company," CEO Pierre Brondeau said in a statement late Tuesday.

FMC said it expects adjusted earnings per share to grow at a rate of approximately 18 to 22 percent per year from 2012 through 2015, helped by the strength of its agricultural and environmental solutions businesses. The company said that it is not ready to provide formal guidance for 2013 but it anticipates adjusted earnings-per-share growth in the mid-teens percent range from 2012.

The company also announced that it will increase its quarterly dividend by 50 percent. Its dividend of 13.5 cents is payable on Jan. 17 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 31. This is up 4.5 cents from its last dividend paid in October.

In the future, FMC said its dividend will grow broadly in line with the rate of earnings growth. The company also said it expects to continue share repurchases at a pace of $100 million to $150 million per year.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Michael Sison said he believes the company is an attractive mid-cap growth story in the specialty chemical sector. He sees an upside to near and long-term earnings growth, given the goals outlined by the company. He raised his 2013 earnings forecasts based on the company's expectations and boosted his price target to $71 from $67.

Shares of Philadelphia-based FMC jumped 5 percent to $56.92 in afternoon trading. Its shares are nearing the high end of its 52-week trading range of $40.49 to $59.41.

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