Continuing the trends from several high-profile chemical companies that released third-quarter results last week, Huntsman (HUN 1.38%) displayed strength in nearly all aspects of its business over the past three months. Aside from the pigments division, which produces titanium dioxide, all others improved their earnings year over year. Natural gas prices are still propelling margins on the production of ethylene and other derivative chemicals higher in the United States, which has contributed to the recent surge by Hunstman and competitors Dow Chemical (DOW), LyondellBasell (LYB 3.84%), and Westlake Chemical (WLK 0.90%).
Credit restructuring and cost-cutting measures have also helped contribute to these widening margins. Management plans on rolling the measures out through 2013 and has already helped the company improve its balance sheet. Using these record earnings, Huntsman generated $200 million in cash from operations and paid of $75 million in debt.