Earnings call: Eastman anticipates earnings recovery and asset utilization improvement in 2024

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Earnings call: Eastman anticipates earnings recovery and asset utilization improvement in 2024

Eastman executives, during their Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call, outlined their projections for 2024, attributing the decline in earnings this year primarily to volume and mix. They expressed confidence in a recovery next year, citing factors such as destocking, innovation, and stable markets as contributing to improved earnings. The company also discussed aggressive asset management to free up cash, despite this resulting in a headwind.

Key takeaways from the call include:

  • Eastman has been managing assets aggressively to free up cash.
  • The company expects a recovery in 2024, with destocking, innovation, and stable markets contributing to improved earnings.
  • The company discussed the significant impact of the long supply chain from China to the US and Europe, which led to a decrease in demand for consumer durables.
  • The company plans to sell plant assets to INEOS, generating around $400 million in cash.
  • The company expects capital expenditure in 2024 to be relatively flat and is committed to beginning construction on recycling facilities in France and the second US project.
  • The company remains optimistic about its organic growth strategy and believes that earnings and cash will recover significantly in the future.

Despite a challenging demand environment in the Advanced Materials sector, Eastman executives expressed confidence in a recovery, attribiting this to the end of destocking and growth in stable markets. They also expect the asset utilization headwind to turn into a tailwind, leading to improved earnings and impressive incremental margins in 2024.

The company also addressed the impact of the long supply chain from China to the US and Europe, which resulted in a decrease in demand for consumer durables. However, they observed some markets bottoming out and recovering well, and expect a softer Q4 due to normal seasonality. The destocking process is expected to be over by the end of this year, with medical and packaging still undergoing extensive destocking.

Eastman also discussed the potential benefits from the methanolysis process and federal incentives, with funding applications for a second methanolysis plant pending. The company plans to sell plant assets to INEOS, generating around $400 million in cash, and expects relatively flat capital expenditure in 2024. They are committed to beginning construction on recycling facilities in France and the second US project.

The company addressed questions about their plasticizer business, stating that they retained ownership of the Texas City facility and that the economics of the agreement with [emails] (ph) remained the same. Regarding pulp prices, the company stated that they do not anticipate any headwinds and have adjusted their contracts to pass through changes in energy or pulp costs.

In conclusion, Eastman executives remain optimistic about their organic growth strategy and believe that earnings and cash will recover significantly in the future. They also mentioned that some specialty fluids were pulled forward, resulting in a sequential drop in Q3, but anticipate a tailwind in the first quarter of the following year. The company also noted that some specialty fluids were pulled forward, resulting in a sequential drop in Q3.

InvestingPro Insights

While Eastman executives remain optimistic about their organic growth strategy, it's important to consider some key metrics and insights from InvestingPro. The company's market cap stands at $8590M USD, with a P/E ratio of 14.72 as of Q3 2023. Despite a challenging year, Eastman has managed to maintain a dividend yield of 4.51% as of the end of 2023.

According to InvestingPro Tips, Eastman has a long-standing tradition of raising its dividend, with an impressive streak of 13 consecutive years. This, coupled with the fact that the company's management has been aggressively buying back shares, signals a strong belief in the intrinsic value of the company.

However, it's crucial to note that the company's revenue has been declining at an accelerating rate. This is reflected in the revenue growth metrics, showing a decrease of 13.99% over the last twelve months as of Q3 2023.

The InvestingPro platform offers additional insights and tips for Eastman and numerous other companies. For more comprehensive data and tips, consider subscribing to the InvestingPro service.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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