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Grace's asbestos charge pushes profits down in 2012

Columbia chemical maker W.R. Grace & Co. reported profits Wednesday of $94.1 million last year, a big slide from 2011 that was driven by the company's $365 million non-cash charge for asbestos liabilities.

But the charge, announced in January, was lower than expected for the fourth quarter. Wall Street seemed pleased by the earnings report and the company's rosier outlook for 2013 — Grace's stock was up nearly 4 percent in late morning trading, to about $75.40 a share.

The company said it expects adjusted earnings before interest and taxes for this year will rise 8 to 12 percent over the same measure last year. Grace has been growing through its years-long bankruptcy and ended 2012 with more than $1.3 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

Grace earned net income of $1.23 a share last year, compared with $3.57 a share the previous year.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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