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About Eastman Chemical Company

Eastman Chemical Company is a chemical manufacturer with a focus on additives, chemical intermediates, advanced materials, and fibers. From manufacturing sites in the US and about five European countries it turns out chemicals, fibers, plastics, rubber materials, polymers, and solvents. Eastman's products wind up in scores of consumer and industrial products including building materials, automotive paints, tires, personal and home care products, packaging, animal nutrition and crop protection products, water treatment, and health and wellness products. The company was once part of film giant Eastman Kodak. US and Canada generate the largest sales at about 40%.

Operations

Eastman is organized across four segments: Additives & Functional Products (AFP), Advanced Materials (AM), Chemical Intermediates (CI), and Fibers.

The AFP segment (approximately 35% of sales) makes solvents, polymers, paint additives, hydrocarbon and rosin resins, rubber additives, and other compounds. End use markets include transportation, building and construction, animal nutrition, crop protection, energy, and personal and home care products.

The AM segment (about 30% of sales) makes plastics, polymers, and films used in automotive safety glass, medical products, consumer packaging, electronic displays, residential and commercial window films, and housewares and appliances.

The company's CI unit (more than 25%) produces chemicals such as olefin and acetyl derivatives, plasticizers, and functional amines that are used as feedstocks to produce Eastman's other products. It also sells intermediates to customers in industries including industrial chemicals, building and construction, health and wellness, and agrochemicals.

Eastman's Fibers business (about 10%) manufactures cellulose acetate tow and other compounds used in filtration media (primarily cigarette filters). Other products include acetate yarn (for making apparel, home furnishings, industrial fabrics, and medical tape) and nonwoven materials (filtration and friction media in transportation, personal hygiene, agricultural, and aerospace applications).

Geographic Reach

Headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, Eastman has operations in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, the UK, and the US. The company has about 50 manufacturing sites and equity interests in three manufacturing joint ventures in some 15 countries that supply chemicals, plastics, and fibers products to customers throughout the world.

The US and Canada are Eastman Chemical's largest territory at around 40% of total sales. The EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) accounts for around 25% of sales, as does the Asia-Pacific region. Latin America generates about 5%.

Sales and Marketing

Eastman Chemical markets and sells products in more than 100 countries through a global marketing and sales organization, which has a presence in the US and around 30 other countries.

The company's products are also marketed through indirect channels, which include distributors and contract representatives, primarily outside of the US. Products are shipped to customers directly from Eastman's manufacturing plants and from distribution centers worldwide.

Some of the markets the company serves include building and construction, health and wellness, transportation, animal nutrition, crop protection, consumer products, packaging, energy, and personal and home care products.

With a relatively diversified customer base, its top 100 customers account for around 55% of Eastman's total sales. No single customer accounted for 10% or more of the Company's consolidated sales revenue during 2019.

Financial Performance

Eastman's revenue has been fluctuating in the last five years. It decreased about 4% between 2015 and 2019.

Sales in 2019 decreased 9% to $9.3 billion compared to $10.2 billion in 2018. The decrease was primarily due to the decreases in all operating segments.

Net income decreased about 30% to $759 million in 2019 compared to 2018.

Cash at the end of 2019 was $204 million, a decrease of $22 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $1.5 billion to the coffers, while investing activities used $480 million, mainly for additions to properties and equipment. Financing activities used $1 billion, primarily for the repayment of borrowings.

Strategy

Eastman's objective is to be an outperforming specialty chemical company with consistent, sustainable earnings growth and strong cash flow. Integral to the company's strategy for growth is leveraging its heritage expertise and innovation within its cellulose and acetyl, olefins, polyester, and alkylamine chemistries.

The company has developed and acquired a combination of assets and technologies that combine scale and integration across multiple manufacturing units and sites as a competitive advantage. Management uses an innovation-driven growth model which consists of leveraging world class scalable technology platforms, delivering differentiated application development, and relentlessly engaging the market.

The company sells differentiated products into diverse markets and geographic regions and engages the market by working directly with customers and downstream users to meet their needs in existing and new niche markets. Management believes that this innovation-driven growth model will result in consistent financial results by leveraging the company's proven technology capabilities to improve product mix, increasing emphasis on specialty businesses, and sustaining and expanding leadership in attractive niche markets. A consistent increase in earnings is expected to result from both organic growth initiatives and strategic inorganic initiatives.

In its management of the company's businesses and growth initiatives, management is committed to maintaining a strong financial position with appropriate financial flexibility and liquidity. Management believes maintaining a financial profile that supports an investment grade credit rating is important to its long-term strategy and financial flexibility. The company employs a disciplined and balanced approach to capital allocation and deployment of cash. The priorities for uses of available cash include payment of the quarterly dividend, repayment of debt, funding targeted growth opportunities, and repurchasing shares. Management expects that the combination of continued strong cash flow generation, a strong balance sheet, and sufficient liquidity will continue to provide flexibility to pursue growth initiatives.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2019, Eastman bought the heat transfer fluids manufacturing assets of Germany-based Sasol. The deal will enhance Eastman's ability to serve global customers in the heat transfer fluids market. The acquisition was rolled into the Specialty Fluids business of Eastman's Additives & Functional Products (AFP) division.

Company Background

Eastman Chemical went public in 1994, but the company traces its roots to the 19th century. George Eastman, after developing a method for dry-plate photography, established the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company in 1884 in Rochester, New York (the name was changed to Eastman Kodak in 1892).

In 1886 Eastman hired scientist Henry Reichenbach to help create and manufacture new photographic chemicals. 

Eastman bought a wood-distillation plant in Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1920 and formed the Tennessee Eastman Corporation to make methanol and acetone for the manufacture of photographic chemicals. The company, by this time called Kodak, introduced acetate yarn and Tenite, a cellulose ester plastic, in the early 1930s. 

Kodak created Carolina Eastman Company in 1968, opening a plant in Columbia, South Carolina, to produce Kodel and other polyester products. It also created Eastman Chemicals Division to handle its chemical operations.

Eastman Chemicals Division became Eastman Chemical Company in 1990. Kodak spun off Eastman Chemical in 1994.

In a major move, in 2012 Eastman acquired US-based chemicals firm Solutia in a $4.7 billion cash-and stock deal. With the addition of Solutia, Eastman became a top-tier specialty chemicals company. 

The Solutia purchase not only broadened Eastman Chemicals' portfolio but also its geographic reach. The addition was a significant step in the company's growth strategy, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region.

Eastman Chemical Company

200 S Wilcox Dr
Kingsport, TN 37660-5147
Phone: 1 (423) 229-2000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: EMN
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Chairman and CEO: Mark J. Costa
SVP and CTO: Stephen G. Crawford
EVP and CFO: Curtis E. Espeland
Employees (This Location): 6,500
Employees (All Locations): 14,500

Major Office Locations

Kingsport, TN

Other Locations

Anniston, AL
Axis, AL
Decatur, AL
Foley, AL
Phoenix, AZ
Anaheim, CA
Canoga Park, CA
Huntington Beach, CA
Orange, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Dania, FL
Miami, FL
Sauget, IL
Saint Gabriel, LA
Springfield, MA
Chestertown, MD
Trenton, MI
Saint Louis, MO
Rochester, NY
Allentown, PA
Jefferson Hills, PA
Monongahela, PA
Gaston, SC
Akron, TN
Blountville, TN
Kingsport, TN
Euless, TX
Houston, TX
Longview, TX
Texas City, TX
Axton, VA
Courtland, VA
Fieldale, VA
Martinsville, VA
Shanghai, China
Bulandet, Norway
Moscow, Russia
Taipei City, Taiwan
Antwerpen, Belgium
Gent, Belgium
Merelbeke, Belgium
Singapore, Singapore