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Westlake Chemical Corp. fourth quarter net income drops
HOUSTON, February 19, 2019 (PCW) -- Westlake Chemical Corp. today reported net income for 4Q 2018 of $123 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, on net sales of $1,995 million. Net income decreased by $679 million, or $5.20 per diluted share, compared to 4Q 2017 net income of $802 million. This included a one-time, non-cash tax benefit of $591 million, or $4.53 per diluted share, resulting from the reduced US corporate income tax rate under the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017.
Income from operations of $207 million for 4Q 2018 decreased by $156 million compared to $363 million for 4Q 2017. Compared to the prior-year period, income from operations for 4Q 2018 was negatively impacted by higher ethane feedstock costs, lower sales prices for polyethylene and PVC, and higher fuel costs driven by the increase in natural gas prices. Partially offsetting these decreases were higher polyethylene sales volumes and higher caustic soda sales prices and volumes.
Westlake said 4Q 2018 net income of $123 million on net sales of $1,995 million decreased $185 million from 3Q 2018 net income of $308 million, or $2.35 per diluted share, on sales of $2,255 million.
Income from operations of $207 million for 4Q 2018 decreased by $189 million from 3Q 2018 income from operations of $396 million.
Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2018 increased by $594 million to $8,635 million compared to net sales for the year ended December 31, 2017 of $8,041 million. This was mainly due to higher sales prices and volumes for caustic soda and higher sales volumes for PVC resin and polyethylene, partially offset by lower polyethylene sales prices and lower styrene sales volumes.
Income from operations was $1,408 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 as compared to $1,225 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of $183 million.
4Q 2018 income from operations for the Olefins segment of $90 million decreased $76 million from 4Q 2017 income from operations of $166 million.
Olefins income from operations of $90 million for 4Q 2018 decreased $72 million from 3Q 2018 income from operations of $162 million.
Olefins income from operations of $573 million for 2018 decreased $82 million from income from operations of $655 million for 2017.
4Q 2018 income from operations for the Vinyls segment of $125 million decreased by $89 million from 4Q 2017 income from operations of $214 million.
Vinyls income from operations for 4Q 2018 of $125 million decreased by $126 million from 3Q 2018 income from operations of $251 million.
Vinyls income from operations of $913 million for 2018 increased $274 million from income from operations of $639 million for 2017. -- Donna Todd