Eastman Chemical Company EMN has declared plans to expand its Performance Films manufacturing capacity in Martinsville, VA.
The expansion will increase the capacity of both the paint protection films and window films and will drive growth of the LLumar and Suntek brands. The project is expected to be complete by late 2017. Performance Films is part of the company’s Advanced Materials business unit.
The expansion will be a state-of-the-art facility and will produce high performance films for the automotive and architectural markets. The expansion is Eastman Chemical’s largest project to date and will result in additional high-quality jobs for the Martinsville Henry County community. This expansion is in addition to the $40 million investment plan announced in Sep 2013.
This expansion will help to meet customer’s growing demand for window and paint protection films. The project will make Eastman Chemical’s manufacturing site in Henry County the world’s highest quality films products producer.
Prior to this, Eastman Company had launched a next generation paint protection film product line which provides the best-in-class combination of performance, aethestics and easy installation. This has ramped up adoption and acceptance among dealers and customers around the world.
Eastman Chemical has slightly outperformed the Zacks categorized Chemicals-Diversified industry over the past six months. The company’s shares have gained around 7.5% over this period, compared with roughly 7.2% gain recorded by the industry.
Eastman Chemical recorded adjusted earnings of $1.83 per share for the first quarter, up from $1.71 in the year ago-quarter. Earnings topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.74. Revenues rose around 2.9% year over year to $2,303 million in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,241 million.
The company remains focused on cost-cutting and productivity actions amid a challenging operating environment, which are expected to contribute around 50 cents to earnings per share in 2017. Further, the company expects adjusted earnings per share to grow 8-12% this year.
Eastman Chemical is also expected to gain from strategic acquisitions and capacity expansion actions. Moreover, the company remains committed to reduce debt and boost shareholders’ returns, leveraging healthy free cash flows. In 2017, it expects to generate solid free cash flow and return around $650 million to its shareholders.
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