W.R. Grace & Co.This large, New York-based...


W.R. Grace & Co.

This large, New York-based maker of specialty chemicals, which has research and production facilities in Maryland, reported lower profits for both the fourth quarter and all of 1990 but said 1989 earnings were boosted by an abnormally low effective tax rate resulting from the use of tax credits.

The company said all of its four operating groups -- specialty chemicals, energy, health care and specialty businesses -- reported higher sales and operating income after taxes in 1990's fourth quarter, as well as for the full year. Total group operating income for the fourth quarter rose 14 percent, and sales were up 13 percent.

Grace reported net income of $73.8 million, or 86 cents a share, for the quarter. For the same quarter in 1989, net income was $81.8 million, or 96 cents a share.

A $62 million after-tax gain in 1989 from the restructuring of the company's energy operations affected earnings comparisons for the year. Net income in 1990 was $202.8 million, or $2.36 a share, down 20 percent from $253.2 million, or $2.97 a share, in 1989. Excluding the special gain, 1990 net income would have been 6 percent higher than in 1989.

J. Peter Grace, the company's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement: "Despite the recessionary trends in various parts of the world, Grace's businesses continue to produce positive results, causing optimism for our operating outlook in 1991. We expect our global specialty chemical business, Grace's largest unit, to improve on its 1990 performance and our other operating groups to also register earnings gains in 1991."

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