Shares of Chemours (CC 1.69%), a specialty chemical maker, rose dramatically in early trading on May 3, gaining as much as 16% in the first half hour after Wall Street opened for the day. The big story was the company's first-quarter earnings update, which was released after the close on May 2. Investors clearly liked what they read.
Chemours reported sales of $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2022, up 23% compared to the year-ago period. Although currency fluctuations were a slight headwind, management noted volume growth of 4% and a 25% improvement in pricing as key positives in the quarter. And while the company is facing some challenges in getting the products it needs to produce the chemicals it sells, management believes it is handling the issue well. Notably, the company's sales tally was more than 10% above analyst consensus estimates.
On the bottom line, Chemours reported adjusted earnings of $1.46 per share, up a full $0.75 from the first quarter of 2021. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) improved a nearly as impressive 50%. Wall Street, meanwhile, was projecting quarterly earnings of $0.92 per share. So the company had material beats on both the top and bottom lines, which investors tend to like.
Based on the strong first-quarter results and the expectation of continued business growth, management upped the company's adjusted EBITDA guidance for the year. Chemours' new target is for 2022 adjusted EBITDA to fall between $1.475 billion and $1.575 billion, notably above the prior range of $1.3 billion and $1.425 billion -- even more reason for the upbeat mood today.