Venator Materials PLC (VNTR - Free Report) swung to a loss of $3 million or 3 cents per share in the first quarter of 2019, from a profit of $78 million or 73 cents a year ago.
Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter were 13 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 10 cents.
Revenues fell around 10% year over year to $562 million in the reported quarter. The company saw lower sales across its segments. It faced a challenging titanium dioxide (TiO2) industry environment in the quarter. Sales, however, surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $517 million.
Revenues from the Titanium Dioxide segment for the quarter fell 7% year over year to $425 million. The decline is attributable to lower average selling prices and unfavorable currency translation that more than offset higher sales volumes.
Revenues from the Performance Additives segment went down 17% to $137 million, hurt by lower volumes and average selling prices as well as unfavorable currency impact.
Venator Materials ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $80 million, down around 64% year over year. Long-term debt was $739 million, essentially flat year over year.
Going forward, the company said that it remains encouraged by underlying industry fundamentals, notwithstanding challenging global economic conditions. Venator Materials remains focused on improving cash flow generation and delivering shareholder value.
The company also expects to gain from higher production of its specialty TiO2 products and efficiency actions as part of its Business Improvement Program.
Venator Materials’ shares are up 20.5% so far this year, outperforming the 13.1% rise of the industry it belongs to.
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
Venator Materials currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Materion Corporation (MTRN - Free Report) , Flexible Solutions International Inc. (FSI - Free Report) and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD - Free Report) .
Materion has an expected earnings growth rate of 23.1% for the current year and carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company’s shares are up around 18% over the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Flexible Solutions has an expected earnings growth rate of 171.4% for the current year and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Its shares have rallied roughly 85% in the past year.
Air Products has an expected earnings growth rate of 10.3% for the current fiscal year and carries a Zacks Rank #2. Its shares have gained around 23% in the past year.
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