The Urethane Blog

Huntsman Issues Guidance

Huntsman Updates First Quarter 2019 Outlook

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, March 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) management will be presenting to investors over the coming days at the Goldman Sachs Houston Chemical Intensity Days Conference in Houston, Texas. The presentations and discussions will reflect Huntsman’s updated outlook for the first quarter 2019.

Huntsman’s largest business segment, Polyurethanes, is seeing improving trends in China. However, this is currently being more than offset by a slower-than-expected seasonal pickup in construction-related markets and lower demand in automotive in North America, as well as softer demand patterns across most of the major European markets, including automotive.  While Huntsman expects the Polyurethanes segment first quarter results to be a bit softer than previously expected due to overall softer volumes, the margins in the downstream business remain stable.

Huntsman expects that the Performance Products segment results for the first quarter will likely be flat to down from the fourth quarter 2018, versus the previous expectation of flat to up, due largely to weather-related delays in the agricultural markets and weaker oilfield chemical demand.

Within the Advanced Materials segment, Huntsman is seeing similar pockets of softness, such as in construction and coatings, yet Huntsman still expects that its first quarter results will be modestly up from the fourth quarter 2018, which is roughly in line with previous expectations.

The Textile Effects segment continues to feel the effects of lingering challenges in China resulting in softer volumes than previously expected.  Huntsman expects first quarter results in this segment to be similar to fourth quarter 2018.

As a result of these changes to the outlook, largely resulting from a slower seasonal pickup in North America and a softer European economy, Huntsman expects its first quarter 2019 consolidated adjusted EBITDA to be 10% or so below fourth quarter 2018.

Peter R. Huntsman, Chairman, President and CEO, commented “We are pleased to see business conditions improve within our Polyurethanes segment in Asia following the Chinese New Year, and our downstream global strategy is working.  Despite softer-than-anticipated conditions in Europe and a slower seasonal start in North America, our downstream margins are holding firm.  While the first quarter has been more challenging than anticipated, it is largely volumetric.  We continue to see inventory levels reduced and general long-term fundamentals intact.  Absent macro events occurring that are out of our control, we remain cautiously encouraged that the rest of the year will improve, and we reaffirm our prior full year guidance of 2019 adjusted EBITDA between 5% and 7% lower than 2018.”