ORLANDO, FLA. (April 6, 11 a.m. ET) — Profit at materials maker A. Schulman jumped almost 40 percent in the first half of the firm's 2012 fiscal year – but a drop in second-quarter sales sent the firm's per-share stock price down more than 10 percent on April 5, the day after earnings were released.
Fairlawn, Ohio-based Schulman accomplished that impressive profit increase even as its first-half sales for the period ended Feb. 29 grew only one percent and its sales volume in pounds actually fell almost nine percent.
Second-quarter sales fell about two percent, while sales volume in pounds tumbled about eight percent. The firm's per-share stock price had fallen 14 percent to just under $24 in late trading April 5.
In an April 4 news release, Schulman's Joseph Gingo said that the second quarter profit at the firm - which ranks as one of North America's 10 largest makers of compounds and concentrates - traditionally tends to be less profitable than its first because of the holiday season. Gingo serves as Schulman's chairman, president and chief executive officer.
“Beyond that,” Gingo added. “The first half of fiscal 2012 has been challenging given the economic environment in Europe. Despite these factors, our experienced global team has remained focused on successfully maintaining our market leadership position and controlling costs, resulting in improved operating income despite volume declines.”
The firm registered a $23.3 million profit on sales of just over $1 billion for the half. Pounds sold slid to about 915 million.
First-half sales, in dollars, grew more than 10 percent in North and South America and six percent in the Asia Pacific region. Schulman's sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa didn't fare as well, declining about three percent. Europe/Middle East/Africa brought in 68 percent of Schulman's first-half sales, with the Americas bringing in 25 percent and Asia Pacific generating the remaining 7 percent.