(Reuters) - Chemicals maker Huntsman Corp's (>> Huntsman Corporation) fourth-quarter profit narrowly beat Wall Street's expectations, helped by higher prices for chemicals used to make insulation and paint.
For the quarter, the company posted net income of $105 million, or 44 cents per share, compared with $30 million, or 12 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding items, Huntsman earned 28 cents a share.
By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 27 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Looking forward, we anticipate that the corporation will see an improving global economy from this point forward," Chief Executive Peter Huntsman said in a statement. "Most of our businesses have strong upside potential as we see a continued recovery in the world's economy."
Revenue rose 9 percent to $2.63 billion. Analysts expected $2.69 billion in revenue.
The jump in revenue was highest in the polyurethanes unit, which makes products for insulation markets, and the pigments unit, which makes titanium dioxide pigment for paint. Price hikes in both units also lifted results.
DuPont (>> E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co) is a large competitor in the titanium dioxide space.
Huntsman's textile effects unit saw sales fall 8 percent as customers bought fewer specialty clothing materials and due to the high value of the Swiss franc.
The quarterly results are the first since Jon Huntsman Jr, the former U.S. presidential candidate, son of the company's founder and brother to the chief executive, joined the company's board of directors.
Shares of Huntsman Corp rose a penny to $13 in premarket trading. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has lost 28 percent of its value.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder in New York and Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Viraj Nair, Dave Zimmerman)