A. Schulman Inc. continues to transform its business to focus on higher value — and higher profit — items, its chief executive officer said.
For example, the Fairlawn polymer company, which specializes in resins and plastic compounds, is nearly done with the milestone sale of a factory in Bellevue, Joseph M. Gingo, chairman, president and CEO, told industry analysts Thursday.
When the sale to Mitsubishi Chemical is complete by the end of November, that will mark Schulman’s completion of its transformation away from legacy plants that primarily service the volume automotive market, he said.
“We continue to shift to higher value products,” Gingo said.
Gingo’s comments on the outlook for the business followed Wednesday afternoon’s release of the company’s fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 year results. The company earned $50.9 million, or $1.72 a share, on revenue of $2.1 billion for the year ending Aug. 31. That compares to $41 million, or $1.32 a share, on revenue of $2.2 billion a year ago.
A. Schulman stock on Thursday rose $1.06 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $25.14. Shares are up 22.5 percent, including dividends, since Jan. 1 and are up 36. 1 percent from a year ago.
“Fiscal 2012 marks the third consecutive year of earnings growth, which demonstrates the strength of our team, the benefits of our strategy to focus on niche and specialty products and cost control,” Gingo said in comments in a conference call.
A. Schulman also continues to look at buying other businesses, Gingo said.
“Globally during fiscal 2013, we will continue to see ... acquisitions that are within our core capabilities and fit our strategic goals,” he said.
A. Schulman also recently reorganized its business units. It split up its plastic and color additives product family into two units, custom performance colors and masterbatch solutions. The change took place Sept. 1, he said.
Gingo told analysts that the bulk of big restructuring is largely done. The company will continue with smaller restructurings, including downsizing plants in Europe, he said.
There are still economic headwinds around the globe, Gingo said.
“To reiterate a theme I’ve been repeating all year and expect to repeat throughout fiscal 2013, we are controlling what we can control in this sluggish economic environment,” he said.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or email@example.com.