Covington-based Ashland announced its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday that got a major boost from its sale of a subsidiary.
The specialty chemical company said it earned $93 million, or $1.22 per share, on $2.11 billion in revenue. A year ago, it reported a net loss of $10 million, or 15 cents a share, on $2.22 billion in revenue.
Its numbers were also boosted by the acquisition last November of Hercules Inc., which provides water treatments in the pulp and paper business and creates ingredients for food and pharmaceuticals.
Had Hercules' results been included last year, revenue would have dropped 25 percent from $2.82 million to $2.11 million.
The company had a number of one-time charges this quarter that affected earnings.
■ A pretax gain on the sale of its global marine-services business Drew Marine to private equity firm J.F. Lehman & Co. boosted EPS by 50 cents.
■ A favorable insurance adjustment increased EPS by 12 cents.
■ Severances and accelerated depreciation related to cost-reduction programs reduced earnings per share by 20 cents.
■ A predominantly non-cash charge related to loans reduced EPS by 8 cents.
Ashland said each of its core divisions saw year-over-year revenue losses in the quarter. Ashland Consumer Markets, which includes Lexington-based Valvoline, recorded revenue of $414 million, down 9 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company said U.S.-branded lubricant saw a 3 percent increase in volume, but total lubricant volume fell 3 percent year-over-year. Same-store sales at Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations increased 7 percent.
Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447.