LyondellBasell Rises on Earnings, Possible Special Dividend

LyondellBasell Industries NV, the world’s biggest producer of polypropylene resins, rose the most in nine months after reporting earnings that topped analysts’ estimates and saying it may pay a second special dividend.

LyondellBasell jumped 8.8 percent to $44.51 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since Oct. 21.

Excluding debt-refinancing costs, adjustments to inventory values and other items, profit in the second quarter was $1.65 a share, Rotterdam-based LyondellBasell said today in a statement. That exceeds the $1.40 average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Gallogly is maximizing U.S. chemical production as natural-gas liquids provide a cost advantage in export markets, he said today on a conference call with analysts. U.S. production costs should remain “good” for the rest of the year, he said.

“The company took full advantage of declining NGL feedstock prices in the Americas,” Don Carson, a New York-based analyst at Susquehanna Financial LLC, said today in a report. “With the exception of refining, every business segment contributed to the earnings upside.”

LyondellBasell, which in December paid a special dividend of $4.50 a share, is considering using excess cash to pay another special dividend, Chief Financial Officer Karyn F. Ovelmen said on the call.

“We would look to supplement our regular dividend with the potential of returning excess cash,” Ovelmen said.

She declined to comment on the size or timing of such a payout. Dividends are preferable to share repurchases because of 2012 tax implications, Ovelmen said.

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