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LSB hopes for improved results this year, compared to 2019

LSB Industries' top executive expects 2020 will be better for the company.

Mark Behrman, LSB Industries’ CEO, noted in an earnings release it published Monday the company made progress on projects that improve its outlook for this year, despite expected continuation of a business environment that didn't help the company’s bottom line in 2019.

“We believe we have positioned LSB to deliver strong improvement” in its adjusted earnings and cash flow, Behrman stated as part of the release.

The company reported a 2019 net loss attributable to shareholders of about $96.4 million, or $3.44 a share, on an operating loss of about $39 million.

For 2018, the company reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of about $102.7 million, or $3.74 a share, on an operating loss of about $72.2 million.

Its 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was about $31.6 million. It posted EBITDA of about $51.2 million in 2018.

In the fourth quarter 2019, LSB’s net loss attributable to shareholders was about $36.4 million, or $1.30 a share. The company’s net loss attributable to shareholders in the final quarter of 2018 was about $20.7 million, or 75 cents per share.

Officials stated LSB Industries is North America’s largest merchant marketer of concentrated nitric acid, capable of supplying blends customers use to treat metal and to make diesel fuel additives, herbicides, ordnance, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, herbicides and pesticides.

It also markets sulfuric acid used to manufacture paper, treat water and process metals and supplies customers with industrial and high purity ammonia for many specialty applications.

Industrial grade, solid ammonium nitrate solutions are produced for the nation’s mining, construction and quarry industries that customers use to produce coal, copper and gold and to remove rock and stone from quarries that ultimately gets used as construction and decorative materials.

Its agricultural business produces nitrogen based fertilizers that are used to grow food, biofuel feedstock, and to grow forage on pastures to support grazing livestock.

Behrman noted prices were soft for LSB’s agricultural products during the fourth quarter because of an oversupply of ammonia generated by increased imports and a late U.S. corn harvest that weakened demand for fall applications.

While he said those issues remain, LSB doesn’t expect any significant plant outages like it experienced in 2019 as it took its Pryor plant offline for major maintenance and made upgrades to its plant at El Dorado, Arkansas.

After that work, both plants are expected to be more reliable and capable of increased production volumes.

“We have seen good progress from our multifaceted approach to increasing the reliability of our operations,” Behrman said.

Jack Money

Jack Money has worked for The Oklahoman for more than 20 years. During that time, he has worked for the paper’s city, state, metro and business news desks, including serving for a while as an assistant city editor. Money has won state and regional... Read more ›