HOUSTON — Westlake Chemical's first-quarter net income climbed 40 percent, buoyed by strong income from its olefins and vinyls segments as well as some lower costs and expenses.
The Houston-based chemical company earned $123.3 million, or $1.84 per share, for the three months ended March 31. A year earlier it earned $87.8 million, or $1.31 per share.
Analysts predicted earnings of $1.28 per share, according to a FactSet poll.
Revenue declined to $864.6 million from $1.03 billion mostly because of lower prices for polyethylene and PVC resin and lower feedstock, ethylene and ethylene volumes. Wall Street expected revenue of $873.9 million.
Westlake Chemical Corp. said Monday that its interest expense fell to $6.3 million from $12.2 million.
In the olefins unit, income from operations grew to $161.1 million from $129.2 million primarily due to increased product margins. The vinyls division's income from operations rose to $43.7 million from $21.1 million on better product margins due mostly to lower feedstock costs.
Cost of sales dropped to $636.8 million from $862.2 million.
Westlake shares finished at $82.45 on Friday. They have traded in a range of $48.13 to $98.27 over the past year.