Q1 Earnings Results Mixed

NewMarkets Afton Chemical additives subsidiary and lubricant supplier Quaker Chemical each reported increased sales and slightly decreased profits for the quarter ending March 31, compared to the year-earlier quarter. Meanwhile, profits rebounded for South Koreas SK Lubricants and S-Oil.

Afton Chemical

Afton Chemical posted a $96.2 million operating profit during 2014s first quarter, down 5.7 percent from $102 million in the year-earlier period.

The petroleum additives segment reported $574 million in revenue for the quarter, up 2.8 percent from $558.4 million in 2013s first quarter.

Foreign currency exchange had a small unfavorable effect in the first quarter of 2014 versus a larger favorable effect in last years first quarter, resulting in a total decrease in operating profit between periods of about $6 million, NewMarket President and CEO Thomas Gottwald said in the companys earnings report. We also experienced an unfavorable product mix when comparing the two quarters.

Richmond, Va.-headquartered NewMarket recorded $57.5 million in overall net income or $4.43 per diluted share, down 15.2 percent from $67.8 million in net income, or $5.07 per diluted share in the year-ago period.

SK Lubricants

SK Lubricants first-quarter operating profit rebounded to 66.3 billion won (U.S. $64.1 million) from 7.6 billion won in the year-earlier period, a 772.4 percent increase. Sales rose to 747.1 billion won ($721.8 million) from 628.4 billion won, up 18.9 percent.

In its earnings presentation, SK said it expected the API Group III base oil market to gradually expand, driven by an economic recovery and higher fuel efficiency requirements. The company also expects demands for Group III to recover as the peak season of lubricants approaches.

SK operates base oil refineries in Ulsan, South Korea, that have 40,000 b/d Group II and Group II capacity, including a joint venture with JX Nippon Oil of Japan. The SK-Pertamina joint ventures base oil plant in Dumai, Indonesia, has 10,000 b/d Group III capacity. Later this year, the SK-Repsol joint venture base oil plant in Cartagena, Spain, is expected to bring an additional 12,000 b/d Group II and III capacity.


S-Oils operating income reached 52.6 billion won ($50.9 million) for the first quarter, up 270.1 percent from 14.2 billion won in the year-earlier period. Revenue totaled 528.7 billion won ($513.2 million), up 22.2 percent from 432.8 billion in 2013s first quarter.

In its earnings presentation, the company expressed a positive outlook for base oil in the second quarter, saying it expected that lube base oil spreads will remain at a solid level, supported by heavy maintenance shutdowns and stable demand from major markets.

S-Oils Onsan, South Korea, refinery has 16,200 b/d Group III, 21,800 b/d of Group II and 500 b/d of Group I capacity.

Quaker Chemical

Conshohocken, Pa.-based Quaker Chemical posted net income of $13.3 million for the first quarter, down 6.3 percent from $14.2 million in the year-earlier period.

Net sales for Quaker topped $181.7 million in 2014s first quarter, up 3.1 percent from $176.2 million in 2013s first quarter.

We experienced good growth in Europe and China, modest growth in North America and a decline in South America, primarily due to exchange rates, said Quaker Chemical CEO and President Michael Barry in an earnings news release. Looking forward, we expect to see modest growth in most of our major markets, although some countries such as India and Brazil could continue to be challenging. We are also beginning to experience an increase in some of our raw material costs. However, we do believe our track record of increasing our market share and leveraging our recent acquisitions will continue and help offset the market issues we may experience.