North American compounding leader PolyOne Corp. saw its third-quarter profit increase, even as sales fell vs. the year-ago period.
Third-quarter profit at Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne jumped 45 percent to almost $33 million. Sales fell 5 percent to $958.4 million as the firm exited some unprofitable products related to its purchase of Spartech Corp. and also closed some operations in Brazil, officials said in an Oct. 23 news release. Weakness in Europe also played a role in the sales drop, they added.
President and CEO Robert Patterson pointed out that the third quarter was PolyOne's 20th straight with double-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share. “We have never lost sight of the fundamental principles of our transformation, and we continue to deliver on our goals,” he said.
Even with the third-quarter sales dip, PolyOne's sales through the first nine month of 2014 were up more than 4 percent to $2.97 billion vs. the same period in 2013. Nine-month profit, however, was down more than 55 percent to $93.4 million.
Nine-month sales growth has been led by PolyOne's designed structures and solutions unit – including much of the former Spartech business — where sales grew more than 14 percent to almost $490 million. Sales in performance products and solutions — including PVC compounds — also grew 8 percent to almost $632 million.
PolyOne found itself in acquisition news recently when an Oct. 16 Reuters article said that the firm was bidding on plastic sheet leader Klöckner Pentaplast Group. A PolyOne spokesman denied that report. PolyOne entered the sheet market when it bought Spartech. That part of PolyOne's business now ranks as North America's ninth largest film and sheet maker, with North American sales for 2013 estimated at $925 million, according to a Plastics News ranking.
On Wall Street, PolyOne's per-share stock price has bounced around quite a bit so far in 2014. It opened the year around $35 and peaked above $42 in July before falling in a broad market selloff. The price bottomed out near $32 in early October before rallying to close near $37 on Oct. 23.