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Schulman Profit Drops, Yet Tops Estimate - Update

Plastic compounds supplier A. Schulman Inc. (SHLM), Thursday reported a 13 percent drop in first-quarter profit, hurt by lower margins and foreign currency losses, even as earnings topped Wall Street estimates. Sales meanwhile increased from last year, on volume growth across all regions.

The company also reaffirmed its earnings outlook for the full year 2013, sending its shares up about four percent in after-hours trade on the Nasdaq.

Akron, Ohio-based Schulman reported first-quarter net income of $11.8 million or $0.40 per share, down from $13.6 million or $0.46 per share last year.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $14.6 million or $0.50 per share, compared with $15.3 million or $0.52 per share a year ago.

On average, four analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.49 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

The translation effect of foreign currencies negatively impacted net income by about $0.02 per share.

Net sales for the quarter increased to $540.6 million from $517.3 million in the prior year.

Total volumes during the quarter rose 5 percent from a year ago to 481 million pounds. Volumes in Americas grew 13.8 percent. The Europe, Middle East and Africa segment experienced a growth of 1.5 percent related to its custom performance color and masterbatch solutions product group. Asia Pacific segment volume rose 3.5 percent.

Schulman continues to expect adjusted earnings of $2.14 to $2.19 per share for fiscal year 2013. Analysts currently estimate earnings of $2.17 per share for the year.

Schulman closed Thursday at $29.10, down 2.02%, on the Nasdaq. In after hours, the stock gained $1.10 or 3.78%.

by RTT Staff Writer

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