PHILADELPHIA, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) today reported net income of $119.1 million, or $1.71 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2012, versus net income of $94.0 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2011. Net income in the current quarter included charges of $16.3 million after tax, or $0.23 per diluted share, versus charges of $13.6 million after tax, or $0.19 per diluted share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding these items in both periods, adjusted earnings were $1.94 per diluted share in the current quarter, an increase of 30 percent versus $1.49 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. First quarter revenue of $940.7 million was 18 percent higher than $795.0 million in the prior year.
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Pierre Brondeau, FMC president, chief executive officer and chairman, said, "Our first quarter 2012 results provided a very strong start to what we expect will be another record year for FMC. Agricultural Products delivered robust performance driven by broad-based growth in Latin America, North America and Asia. Specialty Chemicals' results met our expectations with strong commercial performance in BioPolymer offset by higher weather-related operating costs in lithium and plant downtime effects associated with capacity expansion projects as we position both businesses for continued premium growth. Industrial Chemicals realized strong performance driven by higher selling prices across the segment, particularly in soda ash, favorable export mix in soda ash and the continued shift toward specialties in Peroxygens."
Revenue in Agricultural Products of $454.2 million increased 32 percent versus the prior-year quarter as sales gains were achieved in all regions. In North America, sales increased significantly driven by strong demand for pre-emergent herbicides, growth from new products and the shift of some sales from the second quarter reflecting an early start to the 2012 season due to favorable weather conditions and high crop prices. In Latin America, sales also increased significantly, driven by a strong finish to the crop season, particularly in sugarcane and cotton segments, and sales from our new market access joint venture in Argentina. In Asia, sales gains reflected continued strong demand across the region and growth from new products. And in Europe, sales increased driven by volume gains in herbicides and fungicides. Segment earnings of $129.7 million increased 29 percent versus the year-ago quarter driven by the sales growth, partially offset by higher spending on targeted growth initiatives.
Revenue in Specialty Chemicals was $215.9 million, up 3 percent versus the year-ago quarter as higher selling prices across all businesses, particularly in food, pharmaceuticals and lithium primaries markets, were partially offset by lower volumes related to plant downtimes associated with capacity expansions and plant tie-ins in lithium and, to a lesser degree, in BioPolymer. Segment earnings of $44.3 million declined 1 percent, as strong BioPolymer performance and higher selling prices in lithium primaries were more than offset by higher weather-related operating costs in lithium and downtimes related to the capacity expansions.
Revenue in Industrial Chemicals of $272.6 million increased 12 percent from the year-ago quarter, driven by higher selling prices across the segment, particularly in soda ash, and volume growth in soda ash and specialty peroxygens. Segment earnings of $48.1 million increased 19 percent as a result of the sales gains, favorable export mix in soda ash and the continued favorable mix shift in Peroxygens toward specialties markets.
Corporate expense was $14.2 million versus $16.8 million in the prior-year quarter. Interest expense, net, was $11.3 million as compared to $9.9 million in the year-ago quarter. On March 31, 2012, gross consolidated debt was $946.5 million, and debt, net of cash, was $875.7 million. For the quarter, depreciation and amortization was $32.2 million and capital expenditures were $38.8 million.
Regarding our outlook for 2012, Brondeau said, "For the full year 2012, we have raised the midpoint of our previous outlook and now expect adjusted earnings of $6.80 to $7.05 per diluted share, a 16 percent increase above last year at the midpoint of this range. Our Agricultural Products segment expects to achieve its ninth straight year of record earnings, up 10-15 percent reflecting increased volumes in all regions, particularly Latin America, North America and Asia, due to strong market conditions and growth from new and acquired products. Our Specialty Chemicals segment expects to achieve its seventh straight year of record earnings, led by the eighth straight year of record earnings in BioPolymer. Segment earnings are expected to be up approximately 5 percent reflecting higher selling prices across the segment and volume growth in BioPolymer and lithium primaries, partially offset by higher weather-related and capacity expansion costs in the first half of the year in lithium, higher raw material costs and increased spending on targeted growth initiatives in BioPolymer. And in our Industrial Chemicals segment, we expect earnings to be up approximately 20 percent driven by higher selling prices and volume growth in soda ash and specialty peroxygens, augmented by the continued mix shift toward specialty peroxygens. Across our company, we are directly seeing the benefits of our organic growth initiatives and the accretive impacts of the external growth initiatives completed last year."
Brondeau concluded, "For the second quarter of 2012, we expect adjusted earnings of $1.65 to $1.85 per diluted share, a 14 percent increase at the midpoint of this range. In Agricultural Products, we expect segment earnings to be up approximately 5 percent reflecting growth in all regions partially offset by a shift in some sales in North America to the first quarter and higher spending on targeted growth initiatives. Specialty Chemicals' segment earnings are projected to be down approximately 5 percent as higher selling prices across the segment and volume growth in BioPolymer are offset by higher operating costs in lithium, higher raw material costs and increased spending on targeted growth initiatives in BioPolymer. And in Industrial Chemicals, we expect second quarter segment earnings up approximately 30 percent driven by higher selling prices in soda ash and specialty peroxygens, volume growth in soda ash, the absence of Granger soda ash facility startup costs incurred in the prior-year quarter and the continued mix shift toward specialty peroxygens."
Share and per share financial data discussed in this press release and the accompanying financial tables do not reflect the two-for-one split of FMC's common stock payable on May 24, 2012, to stockholders of record of its common stock as of the close of business on May 11, 2012.
FMC will conduct its first quarter conference call and webcast at 11:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. This event will be available live and as a replay on the web at http://www.fmc.com . Prior to the conference call, the company will also provide supplemental information on the web including its 2012 Outlook Statement, definitions of non-GAAP terms and reconciliations of non-GAAP figures to the nearest available GAAP term.
FMC Corporation is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial and consumer markets globally for more than a century with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. With sales in 2011 of approximately $3.4 billion, the company employs approximately 5,000 people throughout the world and operates its businesses in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Chemicals. For more information, visit www.FMC.com.
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