Mixed Q3 Results


Diverse companies reported diverse results, with additives manufacturer Afton Chemical and lubricant supplier Quaker Chemical each reporting an increase in net profit in the third quarter, while base oil refiner S-Oil saw a decrease, all compared to the year-earlier quarter.

Afton Chemical
Afton Chemical parent NewMarket Corp. on Thursday reported its petroleum additives segment saw a 242.7 percent jump in operating profit for the third quarter to $96.3 million, compared to $28.81 million in 2008s third quarter.

The petroleum additives segment posted $413.7 million in net sales for the third quarter, down 5.4 percent from $437.2 million in the year-earlier period.

Afton pointed to shipments as a bright spot in the quarter, compared to earlier in 2009. Shipments have improved throughout this year with third quarter 2009 shipments increase 14 percent from this years second quarter, said NewMarket President and CEO Thomas Gottwald. Petroleum additive shipments for the third quarter were 3 percent lower than third quarter 2008, reflecting significant recovery of the market from earlier this year.

Overall net income for Richmond, Va.-based NewMarket reached $56.7 million, or $3.72 per share, in the third quarter, up 243.6 percent from $16.5 million, or $1.07 per share, in the year-earlier period.

Gottawald said that while its overall business was performing well, it was not without its challenges. We are experiencing increases in raw material cost and some tightness in the availability of certain raw materials, he noted. Overall, we expect a general upward trend on raw material costs going forward.

S-Oils lubricant division reported a 44 percent drop in operating income for the third quarter, to 64.2 billion Korean won (U.S. $53.8 million), compared to 115 billion won ($96.4 million) in 2008s third quarter.

Revenue for S-Oils lubricants segment declined 41.7 percent to 339.9 billion won ($285 million) in the third quarter, from 582.6 billion won ($488.5 million) in the year-earlier period.

Headquartered in Seoul, S-Oil has about 24,500 barrels per day of lubricant base oil capacity, including 500 b/d of API Group I, 15,000 b/d of Group II and 9,000 b/d of Group III.

As a whole, S-Oil posted a quarterly operating loss of 70.5 billion won ($59.2 million), compared to operating income of 503.8 billion won ($422.8 million) in 2008s third quarter. The company overall reported revenue of 4.7 trillion won ($4 billion) for the third quarter, down 32.8 percent from 7 trillion won ($5.9 billion) in the year-earlier quarter.

Quaker Chemical
Lubricant supplier Quaker Chemical posted net income of $5.1 million, up almost 16 percent from $4.4 million in the year-earlier period.

Conshohocken, Pa.-based Quakers net sales reached $118.9 million, down 25 percent from $159.5 million in 2008s third quarter. The company attributed the decrease in net sales primarily to volume declines in almost all of its regions and market segments, stemming from the continued global economic downturn. The exception was the Asia-Pacific region, where Quaker saw modest growth in net sales.

In the third quarter, we experienced a modest recovery in most end markets as our volumes improved from the second quarter, said Michael Barry, chairman, CEO and president of Quaker Chemical. Over the longer term, we expect our volumes to continue to increase, but it will take time to get back to historical levels as there is still a great deal of uncertainty in our end markets, especially over the next several quarters. While I am pleased with the sequential improvement in our quarterly earnings over the past year, our profitability is still not at the level where we need it to be over the longer term.

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