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Eastman Chemical's (EMN) TREVA Wins Biobased Label From USDA

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Eastman Chemical Company (EMN - Free Report) recently announced that TREVA, its breakthrough engineering bioplastics, secured USDA Certified Biobased Product Label from the United States Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred program. The certification confirmed that TREVA GC6011 and TREVA GC6021 have a biobase content of 45% and 42%, respectively.

TREVA boasts a combination of performance, thermoplastic properties, design flexibility and price which is unmatched by other bioplastics. TREVA contains cellulose, which is sourced from reputable suppliers having international certificates attesting sustainable forest management practices.

TREVA is free of phthalates and BPA, which can withstand harsh chemicals including sunscreens, skin oils and household cleaners. Moreover, it does not exhibit the rainbow effect, which is experienced by certain plastics with polarized light. This improves user experience with electronic device screens.

The aforementioned attributes make TREVA a viable choice for wearable electronics, eyeglass frames, electronic displays and housings, headphones, interior components in automotive and other applications demanding performance and sustainability requirements.

Eastman Chemical, which is among the prominent chemical makers along with BASF S.A. (BASFY - Free Report) , Celanese Corporation (CE - Free Report) and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD - Free Report) , expects to drive growth on the back of innovation and high-margin products amid an uncertain global business environment. Eastman Chemical believes that disciplined capital allocation and aggressive cost management policies are likely to contribute to earnings growth and help to offset challenges faced by the company in Fibers and ethylene pricing.

Factoring in strong first-half 2017 results, the company expects adjusted earnings per share for 2017 to grow 10-12% year over year, up from its earlier view of 8-12%.

Eastman Chemical remains focused on cost-cutting and productivity actions. The company aims to achieve $100 million of cost savings in 2017.

The company remains committed to reduce debt and boost shareholder returns. Eastman Chemical returned around $325 million to shareholders during first-half 2017. The company expects to record robust earnings and generate solid free cash flow (of around $1 billion) in 2017.

Eastman Chemical is also gaining from synergies of acquisitions, especially Taminco Corporation. The Taminco acquisition provided attractive cost and revenue synergy opportunities.

However, Eastman Chemical continues to witness pricing pressure in some businesses. Lower prices of acetate tow are hurting its Fibers unit. Moreover, the company expects ethylene prices to be lower in second-half 2017 vis-à-vis the first half. As such, ethylene margins are expected to be under pressure in the second half. The company is also exposed to a volatile raw material pricing environment.

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