Grace reports $29.7 million fourth quarter profit

W. R. Grace & Co. announced Wednesday that it earned $29.7 million in the fourth quarter, a swing from a $184.3 million loss in the same period a year earlier.

Both quarters included charges related to the Columbia-based chemical maker's asbestos-related liability and bankruptcy reorganiztion, which it emerged from on Monday.

On a per share basis, Grace earned 38 cents in the October-to-December period, compared to a loss of $2.44 a year earlier.

For the full year, Grace made $256.1 million, or $3.30 per share, up from $40 million, or 52 cents a share for 2012. Sales slipped 3 percent to $3.06 billion in 2013, partly as a result of a decline in surcharges for rare earth materials used in catalysts and slightly lower sales volume.

Grace recorded about $155 million in asbestos and bankruptcy-related expenses, driven largely by a $129 million interest rate settlement, in 2013's fourth quarter, down from about $369 million a year earlier.

Grace shares rose 85 cents in Wednesday trading to close at $96.87 each.

Grace employs about 1,100 people in Maryland between its headquarters and a research facility in Columbia and a large plant in Curtis Bay.

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