Olin Corporation ( OLN Quick Quote OLN - Free Report) slipped to a loss of $77.2 million or 49 cents per share in fourth-quarter 2019 from a profit of $53.3 million or 32 cents per share a year ago. The bottom line in the reported quarter was hurt by restructuring charges, mainly related to the company's earlier announced plan to permanently shut down a chlor alkali plant and a vinylidene chloride (“VDC”) production facility in Freeport, TX. Excluding one-time items, adjusted loss for the quarter was 8 cents per share, which was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 10 cents. The chemical maker’s revenues fell roughly 15% year over year to $1,387.1 million in the quarter. However, it topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,330.7 million. The company witnessed continued weakness in caustic soda pricing in the quarter. Lower product prices also hurt its Epoxy unit. Full-Year Results For 2019, loss was $11.3 million or 7 cents per share, compared with a profit of $327.9 million or $1.95 per share a year ago. Revenues were $ $6,110 million for the full year, down around 12% year over year. Segment Review Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls: Revenues at the division fell around 22% year over year to $762.4 million in the reported quarter on lower caustic soda and ethylene dichloride pricing. Epoxy: Revenues at the division dropped around 8% year over year to $470 million on lower product prices that more than offset increased resin volumes. Winchester: Revenues rose around 6% year over year to $154.7 million on higher commercial sales. Financials Olin ended 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $220.9 million, up around 23% year over year. Long-term debt was $3,338.7 million at the end of the year, up around 7% year over year. The company repurchased roughly 7.9 million shares worth $145.9 million during 2019. Outlook Moving ahead, Olin expects to continue witnessing a challenging pricing environment this year. The company envisions its cost control and productivity actions from 2019 along with ongoing initiatives in 2020 to partly offset the weak product pricing environment. The company anticipates the closures of the chlor alkali plant and the VDC facility to complete before the end of this year. It expects these actions, when completed, to reduce its annual operating costs by around $35 million. Olin also expects its capital spending for this year to be $250-$300 million, compared with $386 million in 2019. Price Performance Shares of Olin have lost 39.3% over a year compared with the industry’s decline of 29.3%.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks Olin currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Daqo New Energy Corp. DQ, Royal Gold, Inc. RGLD and Pretium Resources Inc. PVG. Daqo New Energy has projected earnings growth rate of 326.3% for 2020 and sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company’s shares have rallied roughly 71% in a year’s time. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Royal Gold has estimated earnings growth rate of 83.5% for fiscal 2020 and carries a Zacks Rank #1. The company’s shares have shot up roughly 27% in a year’s time. Pretium Resources has projected earnings growth rate of 106.9% for 2020 and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s shares have rallied around 30% over a year. Biggest Tech Breakthrough in a Generation Be among the early investors in the new type of device that experts say could impact society as much as the discovery of electricity. Current technology will soon be outdated and replaced by these new devices. In the process, it’s expected to create 22 million jobs and generate $12.3 trillion in activity. A select few stocks could skyrocket the most as rollout accelerates for this new tech. Early investors could see gains similar to buying Microsoft in the 1990s. Zacks’ just-released special report reveals 8 stocks to watch. The report is only available for a limited time. See 8 breakthrough stocks now>>