Materials makers Chemours Co., Celanese Corp. and Eastman Chemical Co. each posted sales gains in the second quarter of 2022. Chemours and Eastman each also saw quarterly profits grow, while those at Celanese declined.
Sales at Wilmington, Del.-based Chemours were up 16 percent vs. the year-ago quarter to $1.9 billion. The firm's second-quarter profit also more than tripled to $201 million.
Chemours' Advanced Performance Materials unit, including fluoropolymers, saw sales increase 11 percent for the quarter, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, deducations and amortization (EBITDA) up 35 percent to $107 million.
"The long-term growth prospects and earnings quality of the company remain strong in the face of challenging global macroeconomic conditions," President and CEO Mark Newman said in a news release.
At Dallas-based Celanese, quarterly sales grew 14 percent to $2.5 billion, even as profit declined 17 percent to $436 million. Sales in the firm's Engineered Materials unit, including acetal resins, were up 39 percent to $948 million, with operating profit up 30 percent to $166 million.
Celanese is working to complete its $11 billion all-cash purchase of the bulk of DuPont Co.'s Mobility & Materials business. The business being acquired has annual sales of about $3.5 billion. The deal includes Zytel and Rynite nylon, Crastin polybutylene terephthalate and Vamac and Hytrel elastomers.
"I thank our teams for delivering … the strongest six month performance in our history," said Lori Ryerkerk, Celanese chairman and CEO. "Their exceptional execution of our business models and M&A action plan, including securing financing for the [DuPont] acquisition amid a challenging market backdrop, has prepared us to address … some of the developing macro concerns."
Looking to the second half of the year, Ryerkerk added that third quarter order books "look largely as expected, with some indications of softening demand including modest order deferrals and signals of normalizing inventory levels at customers."
Eastman, based in Kingsport, Tenn., saw second-quarter sales grow 4 percent to $2.8 billion. The firm posted a $257 million profit for the quarter after losing $144 million in the same quarter in 2021.
Eastman's Advanced Materials unit, including Tritan-brand copolyester, had sales growth of 10 percent to $846 million, with EBIT down 6 percent to $141 million.
"We are doing an outstanding job of implementing price increases to recover spread compression from significantly elevated costs of raw material, energy, distribution, and other inflationary pressures," CEO and Chair Mark Costa said.
Looking ahead, he added that Eastman "expects to continue raising prices, particularly in our specialty product lines, in response to persistently high inflation."
"We remain committed to investing in growth across the company, including for our circular initiatives," Costa said. "We also expect a number of headwinds, including slowing global economic growth, higher costs for energy and some raw materials, continued supply chain challenges for the global auto market and a stronger U.S. dollar."
On Wall Street, Chemours' per-share stock price as of Aug. 1 was up about 3 percent since the start of the year. Per-share stock prices at Celanese and Eastman hadn't fared as well in the same comparison, with Celanese down 32 percent and Eastman down 21 percent.