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Solutia“s fourth-quarter net income drops, but meets estimates

Chemicals concern Solutia Inc. has reported that its fourth-quarter net income fell 7.3%, but results met analysts“ expectations.
St. Louis-based Solutia (SIO) said net income came to US$ 51 million…

Chemicals concern Solutia Inc. has reported that its fourth-quarter net income fell 7.3%, but results met analysts“ expectations. St. Louis-based Solutia (SIO) said net income came to US$ 51 million, or 46 cents a share on a fully diluted basis, compared with US$ 55 million, or 46 cents a diluted share, in the year-earlier period. Sales in the latest quarter rose 10% to US$ 736 million from US$ 667 million. The mean estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial was for net income of around 46 cents per share. In the latest quarter, performance-films sales jumped 30% to US$ 200 million from US$ 154 million, while integrated nylon sales inched up 4.9% to US$ 382 million from US$ 364 million. Specialty products sales came to US$ 156 million, compared with US$ 151 million a year ago. The company had fourth-quarter free cash flow of US$ 29 million. Solutia said it is committed to growing the company to US$ 5 billion in revenue within the next three to four years and operating margins of at least 15% in all of its businesses. The company plans to expand through internal growth and strategic acquisitions. In addition, Solutia continues to expect long-term per-share earnings growth averaging at least 10%. But the growth rate in 2000 is likely to be lower because of an escalation in raw material costs, uncertainty in the timing and magnitude of selling price improvements and activities associated with Solutia“s growth strategy.

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