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What: Shares of specialty chemicals manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) rose more than 10% in early trading and remain up 9% as of this writing after first-quarter earnings trounced expectations.

So what: This isn’t a perfect growth story. Earnings declined 4% from $0.76 per share in last year’s Q1 to $0.72 in the just-completed first quarter. Revenue improved 13.1% to $695.7 million. Analysts had been expecting Grace to report $0.54 in per-share profit, Yahoo! Finance reports.

Now what: Credit refineries for the outperformance. Demand for petroleum chemical additives produced by the Grace Davison division rose 26.1% during the quarter. Overall, the additives business saw a 16.7% increase in revenue. Construction products sales rose just 5.5%.

Either way, it’s a nice comeback for a company that only now is getting past bankruptcy troubles.

Interested in more info on W.R. Grace? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. You can try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Tim didn’t own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is at least 10% better than other disclosure policies.