Olin Corporation OLN logged a profit of $53.3 million or 32 cents per share in fourth-quarter 2018, down significantly from a profit of $489.3 million or $2.89 per share a year ago. Earnings fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents. Earnings in the year-ago quarter included a tax benefit of $437.9 million.
The chemical maker’s revenues edged up 0.9% year over year to $1,635 million in the quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,706 million.
Olin Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Olin Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Olin Corporation Quote
For 2018, profit was $327.9 million or $1.95 per share, down roughly 40% from $549.5 million or $3.26 per share in 2017.
Adjusted EBITDA for the full year was record $1,265.4 million, up around 34% year over year.
Revenues for the year went up around 11% year over year to $6,946.1 million.
Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls: Revenues at the division rose around 7% year over year to $980.8 million in the fourth quarter, mainly due to higher chlorine, ethylene dichloride and other chlorine-derivatives prices that more than offset lower volumes.
Epoxy: Revenues at the division went down around 5% year over year to $508.7 million, hurt by lower cumene and resin volumes that more than offset higher product prices.
Winchester: Revenues at the division declined around 12% year over year to $145.5 million, mainly due to reduced shipments to commercial customers.
Olin ended 2018 with cash and cash equivalents of $178.8 million, down around 18% year over year. The company repaid $122 million of debt using its cash flow during the fourth quarter. Long-term debt was $3,104.4 million at the end of 2018, down 14% year over year.
Olin repurchased roughly 1.6 million shares of common stock for around $30 million in the fourth quarter. For 2018, it repurchased 2.1 million shares worth around $50 million.
Moving ahead, Olin forecasts adjusted EBITDA for 2019 to be comparable to 2018 levels considering a balanced level of upside potential and downside risks. The company also expects 2019 to be another strong year of cash flow generation.
Olin started the year with caustic soda prices meaningfully lower than 2018. However, it expects this to be offset by better chlorine, ethylene dichloride and chlorine-derivatives prices and a decline in turnaround costs.
The company expects sustained improvement in chlorine, ethylene dichloride and chlorine-derivatives prices in 2019. Olin is also optimistic about improvements in domestic and export caustic soda prices over the course of 2019.
Shares of Olin have lost 33.1% in the past year, underperforming the industry’s 20.9% decline.
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
Olin currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
A few better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Israel Chemicals Ltd. ICL, Quaker Chemical Corporation KWR and B2Gold Corp. BTG.
Israel Chemicals has an expected earnings growth rate of 11.1% for the current year and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s shares have rallied 46% over the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Quaker Chemical has an expected earnings growth rate of 20.5% for the current year and carries a Zacks Rank #2. Its shares have gained 41% in the past year.
B2Gold has an expected earnings growth rate of 13.7% for the current year and carries a Zacks Rank #2. Its shares have gained 5% in the past year.
Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2019
In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-holds for the year?
Who wouldn't? Our annual Top 10s have beaten the market with amazing regularity. In 2018, while the market dropped -5.2%, the portfolio scored well into double-digits overall with individual stocks rising as high as +61.5%. And from 2012-2017, while the market boomed +126.3, Zacks' Top 10s reached an even more sensational +181.9%.
See Latest Stocks Today >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Quaker Chemical Corporation (KWR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Israel Chemicals Shs (ICL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
B2Gold Corp (BTG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research