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Cabot sees outage at Japan carbon black plant

Last week, JPMorgan Chase issued a note to investors that reiterated its neutral rating on Cabot Corporation. In the note, JP Morgan Chase mentioned an unexpected outage that affected results in the carbon black business:

The analysts wrote, Cabot indicated during its annual meeting that global carbon black volume decreased in January and February. In addition, the company was contending with the effect of a meaningful carbon black manufacturing outage.

More details were not provided, but Notch Consulting has heard from company sources that the outage resulted from a one-time event during Cabot’s second quarter (i.e., Jan-Mar 2013). The issue has since been resolved and the plant in question is running normally again. Cabot expects the outage to result in a charge of $6 million to $8 million, including both lost volumes and repair costs. Showa Cabot, Cabot’s Japanese subsidiary, operates two carbon black plants in Japan (in Chiba and Yamaguchi), but the company did not say which of the two plants had the issue.

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