OLN-2012-12.31-10-K


UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
 
(Mark One)
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012
OR
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from              to            
Commission file number 1-1070
OLIN CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Virginia
13-1872319
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
190 Carondelet Plaza, Suite 1530, Clayton, MO
(Address of principal executive offices)
63105-3443
(Zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (314) 480-1400
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange
on which registered
 
 
Common Stock,
par value $1 per share
New York Stock Exchange
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes    x    No    ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes    ¨    No    x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes    x    No    ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes    x    No    ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company.  See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.  Large Accelerated Filer x Accelerated Filer ¨ Non-accelerated Filer ¨ Smaller Reporting Company ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.) Yes    ¨ No    x
As of June 30, 2012, the aggregate market value of registrant’s common stock, par value $1 per share, held by non-affiliates of registrant was approximately $1,658,584,968 based on the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.
As of January 31, 2013, 80,178,682 shares of the registrant’s common stock were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the following document are incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K
as indicated herein:
Document
Part of 10-K into which incorporated
Proxy Statement relating to Olin’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders
to be held in 2013
Part III

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PART I

Item 1.  BUSINESS

GENERAL

Olin Corporation is a Virginia corporation, incorporated in 1892, having its principal executive offices in Clayton, MO.  We are a manufacturer concentrated in three business segments:  Chlor Alkali Products, Chemical Distribution and Winchester.  Chlor Alkali Products manufactures and sells chlorine and caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, bleach products and potassium hydroxide, which represent 65% of 2012 sales.  Chemical Distribution manufactures bleach products and distributes caustic soda, bleach products, potassium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid, which represent 7% of 2012 sales. Winchester products, which represent 28% of 2012 sales, include sporting ammunition, reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and industrial cartridges.  See our discussion of our segment disclosures contained in Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

On August 22, 2012, we acquired 100% of privately-held K. A. Steel Chemicals Inc. (KA Steel), whose operating results are included in the accompanying financial statements since the date of the acquisition. For segment reporting purposes, KA Steel comprises the newly created Chemical Distribution segment. KA Steel is one of the largest distributors of caustic soda in North America and manufactures and sells bleach in the Midwest.

On February 28, 2011, we acquired PolyOne Corporation’s (PolyOne) 50% interest in the SunBelt Chlor Alkali Partnership, which we refer to as SunBelt.  The SunBelt chlor alkali plant, which is located within our McIntosh, AL facility, has approximately 350,000 tons of membrane technology capacity.  Previously, we had a 50% ownership interest in SunBelt, which was accounted for using the equity method of accounting.  Accordingly, prior to the acquisition, we included only our share of SunBelt results in earnings of non-consolidated affiliates.  Since the date of acquisition, SunBelt’s results are no longer included in earnings of non-consolidated affiliates but are consolidated in our accompanying financial statements.

GOVERNANCE

We maintain an Internet website at www.olin.com.  Our reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, and Form 8-K, as well as amendments to those reports, are available free of charge on our website, as soon as reasonably practicable after we file the reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Additionally, a copy of our SEC filings can be obtained from the SEC at their Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549 or by calling that office of the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.  Also, a copy of our electronically filed materials can be obtained at www.sec.gov.  Our Principles of Corporate Governance, Committee Charters and Code of Conduct are available on our website at www.olin.com in the Governance Section under Governance Documents and Committees.

In May 2012, our Chief Executive Officer executed the annual Section 303A.12(a) CEO Certification required by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), certifying that he was not aware of any violation of the NYSE’s corporate governance listing standards by us.  Additionally, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer executed the required Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) Sections 302 and 906 certifications relating to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which are filed with the SEC as exhibits to this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


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PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND STRATEGIES

Chlor Alkali Products

Products and Services

We have been involved in the U.S. chlor alkali industry for more than 100 years and are a major participant in the North American chlor alkali market.  Chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen are co-produced commercially by the electrolysis of salt.  These co-products are produced simultaneously, and in a fixed ratio of 1.0 ton of chlorine to 1.1 tons of caustic soda and 0.03 tons of hydrogen.  The industry refers to this as an Electrochemical Unit or ECU.  With a demonstrated capacity as of the end of 2012 of 2.0 million ECUs per year, we are one of the largest chlor alkali producers, measured by production capacity of chlorine and caustic soda, in North America, according to data from IHS, Inc. (IHS).  IHS is a global information consulting company established in 1959, that provides information to a variety of industries.  Approximately 55% of our caustic soda production is high purity membrane grade, which, according to IHS data, normally commands a premium selling price in the market.  According to data from CEH Marketing Research (a division of IHS), we are the largest North American producer of industrial bleach, which is manufactured using both chlorine and caustic soda.

Our manufacturing facilities in Augusta, GA; McIntosh, AL; Charleston, TN; St. Gabriel, LA; Henderson, NV; Becancour, Quebec; Santa Fe Springs, CA; Tacoma, WA; Tracy, CA; and a portion of our facility in Niagara Falls, NY are ISO 9001 certified.  In addition, Augusta, GA; McIntosh, AL; Charleston, TN; St. Gabriel, LA; Henderson, NV; Santa Fe Springs, CA; Tacoma, WA; Tracy, CA and Niagara Falls, NY are ISO 14001 certified.  ISO 9000 (which includes ISO 9001 and ISO 9002) and ISO 14000 (which includes ISO 14001) are sets of related international standards on quality assurance and environmental management developed by the International Organization for Standardization to help companies effectively document the quality and environmental management system elements to be implemented to maintain effective quality and environmental management systems.  Our facilities in Augusta, GA; McIntosh, AL; Charleston, TN; Niagara Falls, NY; and St. Gabriel, LA have also achieved Star status in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  OSHA’s VPP is a program in which companies voluntarily participate that recognizes facilities for their exemplary safety and health programs.  Our Augusta, GA; McIntosh, AL; Charleston, TN; St. Gabriel, LA; Henderson, NV; Santa Fe Springs, CA; Tacoma, WA; Tracy, CA and Niagara Falls, NY manufacturing sites and the division headquarters are accredited under the RC 14001 Responsible Care® (RC 14001) standard.  Supported by the chemical industry and recognized by government and regulatory agencies, RC 14001 establishes requirements for the management of safety, health, environmental, security, transportation, product stewardship, and stakeholder engagement activities for the business.

Chlorine is used as a raw material in the production of thousands of products for end-uses including vinyls, chlorinated intermediates, isocyanates, and water treatment.  A significant portion of U.S. chlorine production is consumed in the manufacture of ethylene dichloride, or EDC, a precursor for polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.  PVC is a plastic used in applications such as vinyl siding, plumbing and automotive parts.  We estimate that approximately 21% of our chlorine produced is consumed in the manufacture of EDC.  While much of the chlorine produced in the U.S. is consumed by the producing company to make downstream products, we sell most of the chlorine we produce to third parties in the merchant market.

Caustic soda has a wide variety of end-use applications, the largest of which in North America is in the pulp and paper industry.  Caustic soda is used in the delignification and bleaching portions of the pulping process.  Caustic soda is also used in the production of detergents and soaps, alumina and a variety of other inorganic and organic chemicals.

The chlor alkali industry is cyclical, both as a result of changes in demand for each of the co-produced products and as a result of the large increments in which new capacity is added and removed.  Because chlorine and caustic soda are produced in a fixed ratio, the supply of one product can be constrained both by the physical capacity of the production facilities and/or by the ability to sell the co-produced product.  Prices for both products respond rapidly to changes in supply and demand.  Our ECU netbacks (defined as gross selling price less freight and discounts), which include SunBelt ECU netbacks subsequent to February 28, 2011, averaged approximately $575, $570 and $475 per ECU in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. See our discussion of chlor alkali product pricing contained in Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”


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Electricity and salt are the major purchased raw materials for our Chlor Alkali Products segment.  Raw materials represent approximately 47% of the total cost of producing an ECU.  Electricity is the single largest raw material component in the production of chlor alkali products.  We are supplied by utilities that primarily utilize coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, and nuclear power.  The commodity nature of this industry places an emphasis on cost management and we believe that we have managed our manufacturing costs in a manner that makes us one of the low cost producers in the industry.

By the end of 2012, we have eliminated the use of mercury cell technology in our chlor alkali production process. During the fourth quarter of 2009, we completed a conversion from mercury cell technology to membrane technology and expansion project at our St. Gabriel, LA facility and initiated production.  This project increased capacity at this location from 197,000 ECUs to 246,000 ECUs and significantly reduced the site’s manufacturing costs.  In addition, as market demand requires, we believe the design of the SunBelt facility, as well as the new design of the St. Gabriel, LA facility, would allow us to expand capacity cost-effectively at these locations.  In December 2010, we announced a plan to convert our Charleston, TN facility to 200,000 tons of membrane capacity capable of producing both potassium hydroxide and caustic soda.  The conversion at Charleston, TN was completed in the second half of 2012 with the successful start-up of two new membrane cell lines. The conversion of the Charleston, TN plant to membrane technology will reduce the electricity usage per ECU produced by approximately 25%.  In addition, in December 2010, we announced our intention to reconfigure our Augusta, GA facility to manufacture bleach and distribute caustic soda, while discontinuing chlor alkali manufacturing at this site.  Mercury cell chlor alkali production at this facility was discontinued at the end of September, 2012. The conversion and reconfiguration at our Charleston, TN facility and our Augusta, GA facility reduced our overall chlor alkali production capacity by 160,000 ECUs or 7% of our prior demonstrated capacity.  The completion of these three projects eliminates our chlor alkali production using mercury cell technology.

We also manufacture and sell other chlor alkali-related products.  These products include chemically processed salt, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite (bleach), hydrogen, and potassium hydroxide.  We refer to these other chlor alkali-related products as co-products.  Sales of co-products represented approximately 32% of Chlor Alkali Products’ sales in 2012.  We have recently invested in capacity and product upgrades in bleach and hydrochloric acid.  In 2010, we initiated a capital project to construct a low salt, high strength bleach facility located at our McIntosh, AL chlor alkali site and in 2011 we initiated two additional low salt, high strength bleach facilities at our Niagara Falls, NY and Henderson, NV sites.  We completed low salt, high strength bleach facilities at McIntosh, AL and Niagara Falls, NY in the first and third quarters of 2012, respectively, and expect the remaining low salt, high strength bleach facility at Henderson, NV to be completed during the first quarter of 2013. These three new facilities will increase total bleach manufacturing capacity by an additional 50% over the 2011 capacity.  These low salt, high strength bleach facilities will double the concentration of the bleach we manufacture, which should significantly reduce transportation costs.


4



The following table lists products of our Chlor Alkali Products business, with principal products on the basis of annual sales highlighted in bold face.

Products & Services
 
Major End Uses
 
Plants & Facilities
 
Major Raw Materials & Components for Products/Services
Chlorine/caustic soda
 
Pulp & paper processing, chemical manufacturing, water purification, manufacture of vinyl chloride, bleach, swimming pool chemicals & urethane chemicals
 
Becancour, Quebec
Charleston, TN
Henderson, NV
McIntosh, AL
Niagara Falls, NY
St. Gabriel, LA
 
salt, electricity
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sodium hypochlorite
(bleach)
 
Household cleaners, laundry bleaching, swimming pool sanitizers, semiconductors, water treatment, textiles, pulp & paper and food processing
 
Augusta, GA
Becancour, Quebec
Charleston, TN
Henderson, NV
McIntosh, AL*
Niagara Falls, NY*
Santa Fe Springs, CA
Tacoma, WA
Tracy, CA
 
chlorine, caustic soda
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hydrochloric acid
 
Steel, oil & gas, plastics, organic chemical synthesis, water and wastewater treatment, brine treatment, artificial sweeteners, pharmaceuticals, food processing and ore and mineral processing
 
Becancour, Quebec
Charleston, TN
Henderson, NV
McIntosh, AL
Niagara Falls, NY
 
chlorine, hydrogen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Potassium hydroxide
 
Fertilizer manufacturing, soaps, detergents and cleaners, battery manufacturing, food processing chemicals and deicers
 
Charleston, TN
 
potassium chloride, electricity
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hydrogen
 
Fuel source, hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid
 
Becancour, Quebec
Charleston, TN
Henderson, NV
McIntosh, AL
Niagara Falls, NY
St. Gabriel, LA
 
salt, electricity
* Includes low salt, high strength bleach manufacturing.

Strategies

Continued Role as a Preferred Supplier to Merchant Market Customers.   Based on our market research, we believe our Chlor Alkali Products business is viewed as a preferred supplier by our merchant market customers.  We will continue to focus on providing quality customer service support and developing relationships with our valued customers.

Pursue Incremental Expansion Opportunities.   We have invested in capacity and product upgrades in our chemically processed salt, hydrochloric acid, bleach, potassium hydroxide and hydrogen businesses.  These expansions increase our captive use of chlorine while increasing the sales of these co-products.  These businesses provide opportunities to upgrade chlorine and caustic soda to higher value-added applications.  We also have the opportunity, when business conditions permit, to pursue incremental chlorine and caustic soda expansions at our SunBelt and St. Gabriel, LA facilities.


5



Chemical Distribution

Products and Services

We acquired KA Steel, a privately-held distributor of caustic soda and bleach, on August 22, 2012. KA Steel was founded in 1957 and has been managed by the two shareholders, Robert and Kenneth Steel, since 1980. For segment reporting purposes, KA Steel comprises the newly created Chemical Distribution segment. KA Steel is one of the largest distributors of caustic soda in North America and manufacturers and sells bleach in the Midwest. The newly created Chemical Distribution segment gives us the expanded capability to market and sell caustic soda, bleach, potassium hydroxide, and hydrochloric acid, as well as, gives us the geographic diversification the KA Steel locations provide us, and strengthens our position in the industrial bleach segment.

KA Steel is a chemical distributor uniquely focused in caustic soda and bleach. The addition of KA Steel increased our bleach capacity by approximately 20%. KA Steel’s geographic profile expanded our reach and provides a strong platform to increase our caustic soda, bleach, potassium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid sales. Currently, KA Steel sells small quantities of potassium hydroxide and has historically been, and maintains some infrastructure to be, a distributor of hydrochloric acid.

KA Steel sources its chemicals from both international and domestic suppliers, including several of the major chemical producers in the U.S. KA Steel typically has written distributorship agreements or supply contracts with our suppliers that are periodically renewed. The KA Steel supply agreements with producers generally do not provide for specific product pricing, but do include volume-based financial incentives through supplier rebates that we can earn by meeting or exceeding target purchase volumes.

The prices at which KA Steel resells the products that it distributes fluctuate in accordance with the prices that they pay for these products, which in turn are driven by the underlying commodity prices, such as caustic soda, in accordance with supply and demand economics. As a result, movements in the product prices tend to result in largely corresponding changes to sales and cost of sales.

Transportation of products to and from customers and suppliers is a fundamental component of the KA Steel business. The distribution service relies on their private fleet of trucks, tankers and trailers for approximately 50% of their annual volume and on common carriers and direct supply sales for the remainder. Direct supply sales occur by shipping products directly from a supplier to a customer when direct shipment is optimal for our route management. Although the products move directly from supplier to customer, KA Steel remains the only point of contact for both customers and suppliers, and they take ownership of the products during the direct supply process.


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The KA Steel facilities are strategically placed to optimize route density in an effort to balance high quality customer service with execution costs. The following table lists each of the distribution facilities, if the facility is owned or leased, and the products currently shipped from the location. The table does not include supplier controlled direct-ship facilities.

Products & Services
 
Plants & Facilities
 
Owned/Leased
Caustic, Bleach, KOH
 
Lemont, IL
 
Own
Caustic, Bleach
 
Muscatine, IA
 
Own
Bleach
 
Romulus, MI
 
Own
Caustic
 
Baltimore, MD
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Bayonne, NJ
 
Lease
Bleach
 
Camanche, IA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Charleston, SC
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Cincinnati, OH
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Cozad, NE
 
Lease
Caustic, Bleach
 
Dallas, TX
 
Lease
Caustic
 
E Sauget, IL
 
Lease
Bleach
 
Fairborn, OH
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Houston, TX
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Kansas City, KS
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Lubbock, TX
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Manly, IA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
McKees Rocks, PA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Pacific Junction, IA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Pt. Allen, LA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Savannah, GA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Searsport, ME
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Sioux City, IA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Spokane, WA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
St. Louis, MO
 
Lease
Caustic
 
St. Paul, MN
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Vancouver, WA
 
Lease
Caustic
 
Warren, MI
 
Lease

Strategies

Pursue Incremental Expansion Options. The acquisition of KA Steel will enhance our commodity chemical business by increasing the amount of our core chlor alkali capacity that can be sold as value added products and increase our profitability across the economic cycle.

Winchester

Products and Services

In 2012, Winchester was in its 146th year of operation and its 82nd year as part of Olin.  Winchester is a premier developer and manufacturer of small caliber ammunition for sale to domestic and international retailers (commercial customers), law enforcement agencies and domestic and international militaries.  We believe we are a leading U.S. producer of ammunition for recreational shooters, hunters, law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Armed Forces.

During 2011, Winchester was awarded the U.S. Army’s follow-on “Second Source” ammunition contract, which has the potential to generate $300 million of sales over five years.  The contract provides for the production of .50 caliber, 5.56 millimeter, and 7.62 millimeter ammunition.  In 2011, the U.S. Army also awarded Winchester a new five-year contract for 9mm NATO ammunition, which has the potential to generate $80 million of sales over the next five years.


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In September 2012, Winchester, along with another ammunition manufacturer, was awarded a contract from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The contract is to provide .40 caliber duty and training ammunition for one year with four option years; the contract has the potential to generate $75 million of sales over the life of the contract.

In January 2012, Winchester announced it had formed a joint venture named U.S. Munitions with BAE Systems to submit a proposal for the operation and maintenance of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.  During the third quarter of 2012, we were notified by the U.S. Army that U.S. Munitions was not the successful bidder for the Lake City Army Ammunition plant contract. The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant is the U.S. Army’s primary manufacturing location for small caliber ammunition.

In May 2012, the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) presented Winchester with the prestigious Ambrose Award for exemplary commitment and contribution to the U.S. Armed Forces. The NDIA presents the award periodically when a manufacturer delivers superior materials that meet required operational capabilities and support a high level of force readiness in conduct of warfighting activities and homeland defense.

Our legendary Winchester® product line includes all major gauges and calibers of shotgun shells, rimfire and centerfire ammunition for pistols and rifles, reloading components and industrial cartridges.  We believe we are the leading U.S. supplier of small caliber commercial ammunition.  In support of our continuous improvement initiatives, our manufacturing facilities in East Alton, IL achieved ISO recertification to the ISO 9001:2008 standard in November 2012.  Additionally, our facilities in Oxford, MS and Australia achieved ISO 9001:2008 recertification in 2011.

Winchester has strong relationships throughout the sales and distribution chain and strong ties to traditional dealers and distributors.  Winchester has also built its business with key high volume mass merchants and specialty sporting goods retailers.  Winchester has consistently developed industry-leading ammunition.  In 2012 and 2011, Winchester ammunition products received numerous industry recognitions, including: Winchester® Blind Side® waterfowl loads were selected by the National Rifle Association’s American Rifleman magazine to receive a Golden Bullseye Award as “2012 Ammunition Product of the Year,” Winchester® Blind Side® waterfowl loads also received the 2011 “Best of the Best” award from Field & Stream magazine, were selected as “Top Choice” for duck hunting in Field & Stream’s “Ultimate Shotshell Guide,” were named “Editor’s Choice” as the top overall ammo in Outdoor Life’s 2011 “Ammo of the Year” awards, and were recommended to ammunition retailers as “a best bet to make the register ring” by the editors of SHOT Business.  In addition, the Winchester® .17HMR Varmint Lead-Free round was awarded Top Rimfire Ammo in Outdoor Life’s 2011 “Ammo of the Year” awards, and Field & Stream’s 2011 “Ultimate Shotshell Guide” named Winchester® AA® Heavy Target Loads the “Top Choice” for upland bird hunting.

Winchester purchases raw materials such as copper-based strip and ammunition cartridge case cups and lead from vendors based on a conversion charge or premium.  These conversion charges or premiums are in addition to the market prices for metal as posted on exchanges such as the Commodity Exchange, or COMEX, and London Metals Exchange, or LME.  Winchester’s other main raw material is propellant, which is purchased predominantly from one of the United States’ largest propellant suppliers.


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The following table lists products and services of our Winchester business, with principal products on the basis of annual sales highlighted in bold face.

Products & Services
 
Major End Uses
 
Plants & Facilities
 
Major Raw Materials & Components for Products/Services
Winchester® sporting ammunition (shot-shells, small caliber centerfire & rimfire ammunition)
 
Hunters & recreational shooters, law enforcement agencies
 
East Alton, IL
Oxford, MS
Geelong, Australia
 
brass, lead, steel, plastic, propellant, explosives
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Small caliber military ammunition
 
Infantry and mounted weapons
 
East Alton, IL
Oxford, MS
 
brass, lead, propellant, explosives
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Industrial products (8 gauge loads & powder-actuated tool loads)
 
Maintenance applications in power &
concrete industries, powder-actuated tools in construction industry
 
East Alton, IL
Oxford, MS
Geelong, Australia
 
brass, lead, plastic, propellant, explosives

On November 3, 2010, we announced that we had made the decision to relocate the Winchester centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.  In October 2011, we opened the new centerfire pistol and rifle production facility in Oxford, MS and the pistol and rifle ammunition manufacturing equipment continues to be in the process of being relocated and started up.  During 2012, approximately 66% of Winchester’s pistol ammunition was manufactured in Oxford, MS.  This relocation, when completed, is forecast to reduce Winchester’s annual operating costs by approximately $30 million.  We currently expect to complete this relocation by the end of 2016.  Once completed, Winchester expects to have the most modern centerfire ammunition production facility in North America.

Strategies

Leverage Existing Strengths.   Winchester plans to seek new opportunities to leverage the legendary Winchester brand name and will continue to offer a full line of ammunition products to the markets we serve, with specific focus on investments that lower our costs and that make Winchester ammunition the retail brand of choice.

Focus on Product Line Growth.   With a long record of pioneering new product offerings, Winchester has built a strong reputation as an industry innovator.  This includes the introduction of reduced-lead and non-lead products, which are growing in popularity for use in indoor shooting ranges and for outdoor hunting.

Cost Reduction Strategy. Winchester plans to continue to focus on strategies that will lower our costs including the ongoing relocation of our centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.

INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS

Our subsidiary, Olin Canada ULC, formerly PCI Chemicals Canada Company/Société PCI Chimie Canada, operates one chlor alkali facility in Becancour, Quebec, which sells chlor alkali-related products within Canada and to the United States and also sells and distributes ammunition within Canada.  Our subsidiary, Winchester Australia Limited, loads and packs sporting and industrial ammunition in Australia.  See the Note “Segment Information” of the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 8, for geographic segment data.  We are incorporating our segment information from that Note into this section of our Form 10-K.

CUSTOMERS AND DISTRIBUTION

During 2012, no single customer accounted for more than 7% of sales.  Sales to all U.S. government agencies and sales under U.S. government contracting activities in total accounted for approximately 5% of sales in 2012.  Products we sell to industrial or commercial users or distributors for use in the production of other products constitute a major part of our total sales.  We sell some of our products, such as caustic soda and sporting ammunition, to a large number of users or distributors, while we sell others, such as chlorine, in substantial quantities to a relatively small number of industrial users.  We discuss the customers for each of our three businesses in more detail above under “Products and Services.”


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We market most of our products and services primarily through our sales force and sell directly to various industrial customers, mass merchants, retailers, wholesalers, other distributors, and the U.S. Government and its prime contractors.

Because we engage in some government contracting activities and make sales to the U.S. Government, we are subject to extensive and complex U.S. Government procurement laws and regulations.  These laws and regulations provide for ongoing government audits and reviews of contract procurement, performance and administration.  Failure to comply, even inadvertently, with these laws and regulations and with laws governing the export of munitions and other controlled products and commodities could subject us or one or more of our businesses to civil and criminal penalties, and under certain circumstances, suspension and debarment from future government contracts and the exporting of products for a specified period of time.

BACKLOG

The total amount of contracted backlog was approximately $440.8 million and $136.8 million as of January 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.  The backlog orders are in our Winchester business.  Beginning around the time of the November 2012 presidential election, consumer purchases of ammunition surged significantly above normal demand levels. The surge in demand has been across all of Winchester’s commercial product offerings. The increase in commercial demand can be illustrated by the increase in Winchester’s commercial backlog, which was $310.9 million at January 31, 2013 compared to $138.3 million at December 31, 2012 and $37.6 million at January 31, 2012. The orders included in the commercial backlog may be canceled by the customer. Backlog is comprised of all open customer orders not yet shipped.  Approximately 92% of contracted backlog as of January 31, 2013 is expected to be filled during 2013.

COMPETITION

We are in active competition with businesses producing or distributing the same or similar products, as well as, in some instances, with businesses producing or distributing different products designed for the same uses.

Chlor alkali manufacturers in North America, with approximately 16 million tons of chlorine and 17 million tons of caustic soda capacity, account for approximately 18% of worldwide chlor alkali production capacity.  According to IHS, the Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and the Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem) are the two largest chlor alkali producers in North America.  Approximately 75% of the total North American capacity is located in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.

Many of our competitors are integrated producers of chlorine, using some, or all, of their chlorine production in the manufacture of other downstream products.  In contrast, we are primarily a merchant producer of chlorine and sell the majority of our chlorine to merchant customers.  As a result, we supply a greater share of the merchant chlorine market than our share of overall industry capacity.  We do utilize chlorine to manufacture industrial bleach and hydrochloric acid.  There is a worldwide market for caustic soda, which attracts imports and allows exports depending on market conditions.  All of our competitors and the integrated producers of chlorine sell caustic soda into the North American merchant market.

The chlor alkali industry in North America is highly competitive, and many of our competitors, including Dow and OxyChem, are substantially larger and have greater financial resources than we do.  While the technologies to manufacture and transport chlorine and caustic soda are widely available, the production facilities require large capital investments, and are subject to significant regulatory and permitting requirements.

We became one of the largest distributors of caustic soda in North America with the acquisition of KA Steel. We operate in a competitive industry and compete with many producers, distributors and sales agents offering chemicals equivalent to the products we handle. The primary competitive factors affecting the distribution business is the availability of product, the price, customer service, and delivery capabilities. Our principal distribution competitors in North America include Univar Inc., Brenntag AG and numerous smaller regional distributors.

We are among the largest manufacturers in the United States of commercial small caliber ammunition based on independent market research sponsored by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  Founded in 1926, SAAMI is an association of the nation’s leading manufacturers of sporting firearms, ammunition and components.  According to SAAMI, our Winchester business, Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) and Remington Arms Company, Inc. owned by the Freedom Group (Remington) are the three largest commercial ammunition manufacturers in the United States.  The ammunition industry is highly competitive with us, ATK, Remington, numerous smaller domestic manufacturers and foreign producers competing for sales to the commercial ammunition customers.  Many factors influence our ability to compete successfully, including price, delivery, service, performance, product innovation and product recognition and quality, depending on the product involved.

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EMPLOYEES

As of December 31, 2012, we had approximately 4,100 employees, with 3,850 working in the United States and 250 working in foreign countries, primarily Canada.  Various labor unions represent a majority of our hourly-paid employees for collective bargaining purposes.

The following labor contracts are scheduled to expire in 2013:
Location
 
Number of Employees
 
Expiration Date
Niagara Falls (Chlor Alkali)
 
107
 
July 2013
Tacoma (Chlor Alkali)
 
11
 
December 2013

While we believe our relations with our employees and their various representatives are generally satisfactory, we cannot assure that we can conclude these labor contracts or any other labor agreements without work stoppages and cannot assure that any work stoppages will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES; PATENTS

Our research activities are conducted on a product-group basis at a number of facilities.  Company-sponsored research expenditures were $2.6 million in 2012, $2.7 million in 2011 and $2.1 million in 2010.

We own or license a number of patents, patent applications, and trade secrets covering our products and processes.  We believe that, in the aggregate, the rights under our patents and licenses are important to our operations, but we do not consider any individual patent or license or group of patents and licenses related to a specific process or product to be of material importance to our total business.

RAW MATERIALS AND ENERGY

We purchase the major portion of our raw material requirements.  The principal basic raw materials for our production of chlor alkali products are salt, electricity, potassium chloride, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen.  A portion of the salt used in our Chlor Alkali Products segment is produced from internal resources.  Lead, brass, and propellant are the principal raw materials used in the Winchester business.  We typically purchase our electricity, salt, potassium chloride, sulfur dioxide, ammunition cartridge case cups and copper-based strip, and propellants pursuant to multi-year contracts.  We provide additional information with respect to specific raw materials in the tables set forth under “Products and Services.”

Electricity is the predominant energy source for our manufacturing facilities.  Most of our facilities are served by utilities which generate electricity principally from coal, hydroelectric and nuclear power except at St. Gabriel, LA and Henderson, NV which predominantly use natural gas.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROLS

In the United States, the establishment and implementation of federal, state and local standards to regulate air, water and land quality affect substantially all of our manufacturing locations.  Federal legislation providing for regulation of the manufacture, transportation, use and disposal of hazardous and toxic substances, and remediation of contaminated sites has imposed additional regulatory requirements on industry, particularly the chemicals industry.  In addition, implementation of environmental laws, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Clean Air Act, has required and will continue to require new capital expenditures and will increase operating costs.  Our Canadian facility is governed by federal environmental laws administered by Environment Canada and by provincial environmental laws enforced by administrative agencies.  Many of these laws are comparable to the U.S. laws described above.  We employ waste minimization and pollution prevention programs at our manufacturing sites and we are a party to various governmental and private environmental actions associated with former waste disposal sites and past manufacturing facilities.  Charges or credits to income for investigatory and remedial efforts were material to operating results in the past three years and may be material to operating results in future years.

See our discussion of our environmental matters in Item 3—“Legal Proceedings” below, the Note “Environmental” of the notes to consolidated financial statements contained in Item 8, and Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

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Item 1A.  RISK FACTORS

In addition to the other information in this Form 10-K, the following factors should be considered in evaluating Olin and our business.  All of our forward-looking statements should be considered in light of these factors.  Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of or that we currently deem immaterial also may become important factors that affect us.

Sensitivity to Global Economic Conditions and Cyclicality—Our operating results could be negatively affected during economic downturns.

The business of most of our customers, particularly our vinyl, urethanes, and pulp and paper customers are, to varying degrees, cyclical and have historically experienced periodic downturns.  These economic and industry downturns have been characterized by diminished product demand, excess manufacturing capacity and, in some cases, lower average selling prices.  Therefore, any significant downturn in our customers’ businesses or in global economic conditions could result in a reduction in demand for our products and could adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.

Although we do not generally sell a large percentage of our products directly to customers abroad, a large part of our financial performance is dependent upon a healthy economy beyond North America.  Our customers sell their products abroad.  As a result, our business is affected by general economic conditions and other factors in Western Europe, South America and most of East Asia, particularly China and Japan, including fluctuations in interest rates, customer demand, labor and energy costs, currency changes, and other factors beyond our control.  The demand for our customers’ products, and therefore, our products, is directly affected by such fluctuations.  In addition, our customers could decide to move some or all of their production to lower cost, offshore locations, and this could reduce demand in North America for our products.  We cannot assure you that events having an adverse effect on the industries in which we operate will not occur or continue, such as a downturn in the Western European, South American, Asian or world economies, increases in interest rates, or unfavorable currency fluctuations.  Economic conditions in other regions of the world, predominantly Asia and Europe, can increase the amount of caustic soda produced and available for export to North America.  The increased caustic soda supply can put downward pressure on our caustic soda prices, negatively impacting our profitability.

Cyclical Pricing Pressure—Our profitability could be reduced by declines in average selling prices of our products, particularly declines in the ECU netbacks for chlorine and caustic soda.

Our historical operating results reflect the cyclical and sometimes volatile nature of the chemical and ammunition industries.  We experience cycles of fluctuating supply and demand in each of our business segments, particularly in Chlor Alkali Products, which result in changes in selling prices.  Periods of high demand, tight supply and increasing operating margins tend to result in increases in capacity and production until supply exceeds demand, generally followed by periods of oversupply and declining prices.  Another factor influencing demand and pricing for chlorine and caustic soda is the price of natural gas.  Higher natural gas prices increase our customers’ and competitors’ manufacturing costs, and depending on the ratio of crude oil to natural gas prices, could make them less competitive in world markets.  Continued expansion offshore, particularly in Asia, will continue to have an impact on the ECU values as imported caustic soda replaces some capacity in North America.

Price in the chlor alkali industry is the major supplier selection criterion.  We have little or no ability to influence prices in this large commodity market.  Decreases in the average selling prices of our products could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.  For example, in the Chlor Alkali Products segment, assuming all other costs remain constant and internal consumption remains approximately the same, a $10 per ECU selling price change equates to an approximate $15 million annual change in our revenues and pretax profit when we are operating at full capacity.  While we strive to maintain or increase our profitability by reducing costs through improving production efficiency, emphasizing higher margin products, and by controlling transportation, selling, and administration expenses, we cannot assure you that these efforts will be sufficient to offset fully the effect of possible decreases in pricing on operating results.

Because of the cyclical nature of our businesses, we cannot assure you that pricing or profitability in the future will be comparable to any particular historical period, including the most recent period shown in our operating results.  We cannot assure you that the chlor alkali industry will not experience adverse trends in the future, or that our operating results and/or financial condition will not be adversely affected by them.


12



Our Chemical Distribution segment is also subject to changes in operating results as a result of cyclical pricing pressures. The prices at which we resell the products that we distribute often fluctuate in accordance with the prices that we pay for these products, which in turn are driven by the underlying commodity prices, such as caustic soda, in accordance with supply and demand economics. We attempt to pass commodity pricing changes to our customers, but we may be unable to or be delayed in doing so. The inability to pass through price increases or any limitation or delays in passing through price increases in our Chemical Distribution segment could adversely affect our profitability.

Our Winchester segment is also subject to changes in operating results as a result of cyclical pricing pressures, but to a lesser extent than the Chlor Alkali Products segment.  Selling prices of ammunition are affected by changes in raw material costs and availability and customer demand, and declines in average selling prices of products of our Winchester segment could adversely affect our profitability.

Imbalance in Demand for Our Chlor Alkali Products—A loss of a substantial customer for our chlorine or caustic soda could cause an imbalance in demand for these products, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

Chlorine and caustic soda are produced simultaneously and in a fixed ratio of 1.0 ton of chlorine to 1.1 tons of caustic soda.  The loss of a substantial chlorine or caustic soda customer could cause an imbalance in demand for our chlorine and caustic soda products.  An imbalance in demand may require us to reduce production of both chlorine and caustic soda or take other steps to correct the imbalance.  Since we cannot store large quantities of chlorine, we may not be able to respond to an imbalance in demand for these products as quickly or efficiently as some of our competitors.  If a substantial imbalance occurred, we would need to reduce prices or take other actions that could have a negative impact on our results of operations and financial condition.

Security and Chemicals Transportation—New regulations on the transportation of hazardous chemicals and/or the security of chemical manufacturing facilities and public policy changes related to transportation safety could result in significantly higher operating costs.

The chemical industry, including the chlor alkali industry, has proactively responded to the issues related to national security and environmental concerns by starting new initiatives relating to the security of chemicals industry facilities and the transportation of hazardous chemicals in the United States.  Government at the local, state, and federal levels could implement new regulations that would impact the security of chemical plant locations and the transportation of hazardous chemicals.  Our Chlor Alkali Products business could be adversely impacted by the cost of complying with any new regulations.  Our business also could be adversely affected if an incident were to occur at one of our facilities or while transporting product.  The extent of the impact would depend on the requirements of future regulations and the nature of an incident, which are unknown at this time.

Effects of Regulation—Changes in legislation or government regulations or policies, including tax policies, could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Legislation that may be passed by Congress or other legislative bodies or new regulations that may be issued by federal and other administrative agencies could significantly affect the sales, costs and profitability of our business.  The chemical and ammunition industries are subject to legislative and regulatory actions, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Cost Control—Our profitability could be reduced if we experience increasing raw material, utility, transportation or logistics costs, or if we fail to achieve our targeted cost reductions.

Our operating results and profitability are dependent upon our continued ability to control, and in some cases further reduce, our costs.  If we are unable to do so, or if costs outside of our control, particularly our costs of raw materials, utilities, transportation and similar costs, increase beyond anticipated levels, our profitability will decline.

For example, our Chlor Alkali product transportation costs, particularly railroad shipment costs, are a significant portion of our cost of sales, and have been increasing over the past several years.  If the cost increases continue, and we are unable to control those costs or pass the increased costs on to customers, our profitability in our Chlor Alkali business would be negatively affected.  Similarly, costs of commodity metals and other materials used in our Winchester business, such as copper and lead, can vary.  If we experience significant increases in these costs and are unable to raise our prices to offset the higher costs, the profitability in our Winchester business would be negatively affected.


13



Environmental Costs—We have ongoing environmental costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

The nature of our operations and products, including the raw materials we handle, exposes us to the risk of liabilities or claims with respect to environmental matters.  In addition, we are party to various governmental and private environmental actions associated with past manufacturing facilities and former waste disposal sites.  We have incurred, and expect to incur, significant costs and capital expenditures in complying with environmental laws and regulations.

The ultimate costs and timing of environmental liabilities are difficult to predict.  Liabilities under environmental laws relating to contaminated sites can be imposed retroactively and on a joint and several basis.  One liable party could be held responsible for all costs at a site, regardless of fault, percentage of contribution to the site or the legality of the original disposal.  We could incur significant costs, including cleanup costs, natural resource damages, civil or criminal fines and sanctions and third-party lawsuits claiming, for example, personal injury and/or property damage, as a result of past or future violations of, or liabilities under, environmental or other laws.

In addition, future events, such as changes to or more rigorous enforcement of environmental laws, could require us to make additional expenditures, modify or curtail our operations and/or install pollution control equipment.

Accordingly, it is possible that some of the matters in which we are involved or may become involved may be resolved unfavorably to us, which could materially adversely affect our financial position, cash flows or results of operations.  See Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Environmental Matters.”

Litigation and Claims—We are subject to litigation and other claims, which could cause us to incur significant expenses.

We are a defendant in a number of pending legal proceedings relating to our present and former operations.  These include product liability claims relating to ammunition and proceedings alleging injurious exposure of plaintiffs to various chemicals and other substances (including proceedings based on alleged exposures to asbestos).  Frequently, the proceedings alleging injurious exposure involve claims made by numerous plaintiffs against many defendants.  However, because of the inherent uncertainties of litigation, we are unable to predict the outcome of these proceedings and therefore cannot determine whether the financial impact, if any, will be material to our financial position, cash flows or results of operations.

Information Security—A failure of our information technology systems, or an interruption in their operation, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our operations are dependent on our ability to protect our information systems, computer equipment and information databases from systems failures.  We rely on our information technology systems generally to manage the day-to-day operation of our business, operate elements of our chlor alkali and ammunition manufacturing facilities, manage relationships with our customers, fulfill customer orders, and maintain our financial and accounting records.  Failures of our information technology systems could be caused by internal or external events, such as incursions by intruders or hackers, computer viruses, failures in hardware or software, power fluctuations or cyber-attacks.  The failure of our information technology systems to perform as anticipated for any reason or any significant breach of security could disrupt our business and result in numerous adverse consequences, including reduced effectiveness and efficiency of operations, increased costs or loss of important information, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.  We have technology and information security processes and disaster recovery plans in place to mitigate our risk to these vulnerabilities.  However, these measures may not be adequate to ensure that our operations will not be disrupted, should such an event occur.


14



Production Hazards—Our facilities are subject to operating hazards, which may disrupt our business.

We are dependent upon the continued safe operation of our production facilities.  Our production facilities are subject to hazards associated with the manufacture, handling, storage and transportation of chemical materials and products and ammunition, including leaks and ruptures, explosions, fires, inclement weather and natural disasters, unexpected utility disruptions or outages, unscheduled downtime and environmental hazards.  From time to time in the past, we have had incidents that have temporarily shut down or otherwise disrupted our manufacturing, causing production delays and resulting in liability for workplace injuries and fatalities.  Some of our products involve the manufacture and/or handling of a variety of explosive and flammable materials.  Use of these products by our customers could also result in liability if an explosion, fire, spill or other accident were to occur.  We cannot assure you that we will not experience these types of incidents in the future or that these incidents will not result in production delays or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Credit Facilities—Weak industry conditions could affect our ability to comply with the financial maintenance covenants in our senior revolving credit facility and certain tax-exempt bonds.

Our senior revolving credit facility includes certain financial maintenance covenants requiring us to not exceed a maximum leverage ratio and to maintain a minimum coverage ratio.  During the fourth quarter of 2010, $153.0 million of Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 (Go Zone) and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Zone) tax-exempt bonds sponsored by Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee were issued with final maturities of between 2024 and 2035.  The financial covenants in the credit agreements associated with the Go Zone and Recovery Zone bonds mirror those in our senior revolving credit facility.

Depending on the magnitude and duration of chlor alkali cyclical downturns, including deterioration in prices and volumes, there can be no assurance that we will continue to be in compliance with these ratios.  If we failed to comply with either of these covenants in a future period and were not able to obtain waivers from the lenders thereunder, we would need to refinance our current senior revolving credit facility and the Go Zone and Recovery Zone bonds.  However, there can be no assurance that such refinancing would be available to us on terms that would be acceptable to us or at all.

Credit and Capital Market Conditions—Adverse conditions in the credit and capital markets may limit or prevent our ability to borrow or raise capital.

While we believe we have facilities in place that should allow us to borrow funds as needed, adverse conditions in the credit and financial markets could prevent us from obtaining financing, if the need arises.  Our ability to invest in our businesses and refinance or repay maturing debt obligations could require access to the credit and capital markets and sufficient bank credit lines to support cash requirements.  If we are unable to access the credit and capital markets, we could experience a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Indebtedness—Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition and limit our ability to grow and compete, which could prevent us from fulfilling our obligations under our indebtedness.

As of December 31, 2012, we had $713.7 million of indebtedness outstanding, including $10.2 million representing the unrecognized gain related to $198.1 million of interest rate swaps at December 31, 2012.  This outstanding indebtedness does not include our $265.0 million senior revolving credit facility of which we had $233.3 million available as of December 31, 2012 because we had issued $31.7 million of letters of credit.  As of December 31, 2012, our indebtedness represented 41.7% of our total capitalization.  At December 31, 2012, $23.6 million of our indebtedness was due within one year.

Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition and limit our ability to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes, to accommodate growth by reducing funds otherwise available for other corporate purposes, and to compete, which in turn could prevent us from fulfilling our obligations under our indebtedness.  In addition, our indebtedness could make us more vulnerable to any continuing downturn in general economic conditions and reduce our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions.  Despite our level of indebtedness, the terms of our senior revolving credit facility and our existing indentures permit us to borrow additional money.  If we borrow more money, the risks related to our indebtedness could increase.

Pension Plans—The impact of declines in global equity and fixed income markets on asset values and any declines in interest rates used to value the liabilities in our pension plans may result in higher pension costs and the need to fund the pension plans in future years in material amounts.


15



Under Accounting Standard Codification (ASC) 715 “Compensation–Retirement Benefits” (ASC 715), we recorded an after-tax charge of $101.9 million ($166.8 million pretax) to shareholders’ equity as of December 31, 2012 for our pension and other postretirement plans.  This charge reflected a 100-basis point decrease in the plans’ discount rate, partially offset by the favorable performance on plan assets during 2012.  In 2011, we recorded an after-tax charge of $29.0 million ($46.8 million pretax) to shareholders’ equity as of December 31, 2011 for our pension and other postretirement plans.  This charge reflected a 40-basis point decrease in the plans’ discount rate and an unfavorable actuarial assumption change related to mortality tables, partially offset by the favorable performance on plan assets during 2011.  In 2010, we recorded an after-tax charge of $26.0 million ($42.3 million pretax) to shareholders’ equity as of December 31, 2010 for our pension and other postretirement plans.  This charge reflected a 45-basis point decrease in the plans’ discount rate, partially offset by the favorable performance on plan assets during 2010.  The non-cash charges to shareholders’ equity do not affect our ability to borrow under our senior revolving credit facility.

The determinations of pension expense and pension funding are based on a variety of rules and regulations.  Changes in these rules and regulations could impact the calculation of pension plan liabilities and the valuation of pension plan assets.  They may also result in higher pension costs, additional financial statement disclosure, and accelerate the need to fully fund the pension plan.  During the third quarter of 2012, the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” became law. The new law changes the mechanism for determining interest rates to be used for calculating minimum defined benefit pension plan funding requirements. Interest rates are determined using an average of rates of a 25-year period, which can have the effect of increasing the annual discount rate, reducing the defined benefit pension plan obligation, and potentially reducing or eliminating the minimum annual funding requirement. The new law also increased premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Based on our plan assumptions and estimates, we will not be required to make any cash contributions to the domestic defined benefit pension plan at least through 2013 and under the new law may not be required to make any additional contributions for at least the next five years.  We do have a small Canadian defined benefit pension plan to which we made $0.9 million of cash contributions in 2012 and 2011, and we anticipate less than $5 million of cash contributions in 2013.  At December 31, 2012, the projected benefit obligation of $2,072.4 million exceeded the market value of assets in our qualified defined benefit pension plans by $91.4 million.

In addition, the impact of declines in global equity and fixed income markets on asset values may result in higher pension costs and may increase and accelerate the need to fund the pension plans in future years.  For example, holding all other assumptions constant, a 100-basis point decrease or increase in the assumed long-term rate of return on plan assets would have decreased or increased, respectively, the 2012 defined benefit pension plans income by approximately $16.8 million.

Holding all other assumptions constant, a 50-basis point decrease in the discount rate used to calculate pension income for 2012 and the projected benefit obligation as of December 31, 2012 would have decreased pension income by $0.4 million and increased the projected benefit obligation by $114.0 million.  A 50-basis point increase in the discount rate used to calculate pension income for 2012 and the projected benefit obligation as of December 31, 2012 would have increased pension income by $1.5 million and decreased the projected benefit obligation by $112.0 million.

Labor Matters—We cannot assure you that we can conclude future labor contracts or any other labor agreements without work stoppages.
 
Various labor unions represent a majority of our hourly-paid employees for collective bargaining purposes.  The following labor contracts are scheduled to expire in 2013:
Location
 
Number of Employees
 
Expiration Date
Niagara Falls (Chlor Alkali)
 
107
 
July 2013
Tacoma (Chlor Alkali)
 
11
 
December 2013

While we believe our relations with our employees and their various representatives are generally satisfactory, we cannot assure that we can conclude these labor contracts or any other labor agreements without work stoppages and cannot assure that any work stoppages will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.

Debt Service—We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service our debt, which may require us to refinance our indebtedness or default on our scheduled debt payments.


16



Our ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations to make scheduled payments on our debt depends on a range of economic, competitive and business factors, many of which are outside our control.  We cannot assure you that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations.  If we are unable to meet our expenses and debt obligations, we may need to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness on or before maturity, sell assets or raise equity.  We cannot assure you that we would be able to refinance any of our indebtedness, sell assets or raise equity on commercially reasonable terms or at all, which could cause us to default on our obligations and impair our liquidity.  Our inability to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our debt obligations, or to refinance our obligations on commercially reasonable terms, would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as on our ability to satisfy our debt obligations.  See Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”  See Item 7A—“Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk” and “Liquidity and Other Financing Arrangements.”

Item 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

Not applicable.

Item 2.  PROPERTIES

We have manufacturing sites at 14 separate locations in ten states, Canada and Australia.  Most manufacturing sites are owned although a number of small sites are leased.  We also own 3 terminals in 3 states and lease 39 terminal facilities in 20 states and Canada. We listed the principal locations at or from which our products and services are manufactured, distributed, or marketed in the tables set forth under the caption “Products and Services.”

We lease warehouses, terminals and distribution offices and space for executive and branch sales offices and service departments.

Item 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Saltville

We have completed all work in connection with remediation of mercury contamination at the site of our former mercury cell chlor alkali plant in Saltville, VA required to date.  In mid-2003, the Trustees for natural resources in the North Fork Holston River, the Main Stem Holston River, and associated floodplains, located in Smyth and Washington Counties in Virginia and in Sullivan and Hawkins Counties in Tennessee notified us of, and invited our participation in, an assessment of alleged damages to natural resources resulting from the release of mercury.  The Trustees also notified us that they have made a preliminary determination that we are potentially liable for natural resource damages in said rivers and floodplains.  We agreed to participate in the assessment.  We and the Trustees have entered into discussions concerning a resolution of this matter.  In light of the ongoing discussions and inherent uncertainties of the assessment, we cannot at this time determine whether the financial impact, if any, of this matter will be material to our financial position or results of operations.  See “Environmental Matters” contained in Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

Other

As part of the continuing environmental investigation by federal, state, and local governments of waste disposal sites, we have entered into a number of settlement agreements requiring us to participate in the investigation and cleanup of a number of sites.  Under the terms of such settlements and related agreements, we may be required to manage or perform one or more elements of a site cleanup, or to manage the entire remediation activity for a number of parties, and subsequently seek recovery of some or all of such costs from other Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs).  In many cases, we do not know the ultimate costs of our settlement obligations at the time of entering into particular settlement agreements, and our liability accruals for our obligations under those agreements are often subject to significant management judgment on an ongoing basis.  Those cost accruals are provided for in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and our accounting policies set forth in the environmental matters section in Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

We, and our subsidiaries, are defendants in various other legal actions (including proceedings based on alleged exposures to asbestos) incidental to our past and current business activities.  At December 31, 2012 and 2011, our consolidated balance sheets included liabilities for these legal actions of $15.2 million and $16.4 million, respectively.  These liabilities do not include costs associated with legal representation.  Based on our analysis, and considering the inherent uncertainties associated with litigation, we do not believe that it is reasonably possible that these legal actions will materially adversely affect our financial position, cash flows or results of operations.

Item 4.  MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

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Executive Officers of the Registrant as of February 25, 2013

Name and Age
 
Office
 
Served as an Olin Officer Since
Joseph D. Rupp (62)
 
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
 
1996
Frank W. Chirumbole (54)
 
Vice President and President, Chlor Alkali Products
 
2011
Stephen C. Curley (61)
 
Vice President and Treasurer
 
2005
Dolores J. Ennico (60)
 
Vice President, Human Resources
 
2009
John E. Fischer (57)
 
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
 
2004
G. Bruce Greer, Jr. (52)
 
Vice President, Strategic Planning and Information Technology
 
2005
John L. McIntosh (58)
 
Senior Vice President, Operations
 
1999
Thomas J. O’Keefe (54)
 
Vice President and President, Winchester
 
2011
George H. Pain (62)
 
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
 
2002
Todd A. Slater (49)
 
Vice President, Finance and Controller
 
2005
Kenneth A. Steel, Jr. (55)
 
Vice President and Executive Vice President, KA Steel
 
2012
Robert F. Steel (57)
 
Vice President and President, KA Steel
 
2012

No family relationship exists between any of the above named executive officers, except Messrs. K. Steel and R. Steel who are brothers. No other family relationship exists between any of the above named executive officers and any of our directors.  Such officers were elected to serve, subject to the By-laws, until their respective successors are chosen.

All executive officers, except Messrs. Chirumbole, O’Keefe, K. Steel, and R. Steel and Ms. Ennico, have served as executive officers for more than five years.

Frank W. Chirumbole was appointed Vice President and President, Chlor Alkali Products effective April 26, 2012, and assumed his current duties on April 28, 2011.  From October 2010 until April 2012, he served as President, Chlor Alkali Products; from 2009 until September 2010, he served as Vice President, General Manager – Bleach; from 2007 to 2009 he served as Vice President, Supply Management; and from 2001 to 2007 he served as Vice President, Manufacturing and Engineering, all in the Chlor Alkali Products Division.

Dolores J. Ennico was elected Vice President, Human Resources effective May 1, 2009.  Prior to that time and since October 2005, she served as Corporate Vice President, Human Resources.  From March 2004 to September 2005, she served as Vice President, Administration for Olin’s Winchester Division and former Metals group.

Thomas J. O’Keefe was appointed Vice President and President, Winchester effective April 26, 2012, and assumed his current duties on April 28, 2011.  From 2010 to 2011, he served as President, Winchester; from 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice President, Operations and Planning and from 2006 to 2008 he was Vice President, Manufacturing Operations, in each case, in the Winchester Division.  From 2001 to 2006, he was Vice President, Manufacturing and Engineering for Olin’s former Brass Division.

Kenneth A. Steel, Jr. was appointed Vice President and Executive Vice President, KA Steel effective August 22, 2012. Prior to that time and since 1980, he served as Executive Vice President of KA Steel.

Robert F. Steel was appointed Vice President and President, KA Steel effective August 22, 2012. Prior to that time and since 1980, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KA Steel.



18



PART II

Item 5.  MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

As of January 31, 2013, we had 4,077 record holders of our common stock.

Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The high and low sales prices of our common stock during each quarterly period in 2012 and 2011 are listed below.  A dividend of $0.20 per common share was paid during each of the four quarters in 2012 and 2011.

2012
 
First
Quarter
 
Second
Quarter
 
Third
Quarter
 
Fourth
Quarter
Market price of common stock per New York Stock Exchange composite transactions
 

 

 

 
 
High
 
$
23.46

 
$
22.24

 
$
23.48

 
$
22.32

Low
 
19.75

 
18.40

 
19.34

 
19.50

2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Market price of common stock per New York Stock Exchange composite transactions
 

 

 

 

High
 
$
23.04

 
$
27.16

 
$
24.09

 
$
21.75

Low
 
17.97

 
20.60

 
17.64

 
16.11


Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Period
 
Total Number of Shares
(or Units) Purchased
 
Average Price
Paid
per Share (or Unit)
 
Total Number of Shares
(or Units) Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Plans or
Programs
 
Maximum Number of
Shares (or Units) that
May Yet Be Purchased
Under the Plans or
Programs
October 1-31, 2012
 
 
N/A
 
 

November 1-30, 2012
 
 
N/A
 
 

December 1-31, 2012
 
 
N/A
 
 

Total
 

 

 

 
4,605,729(1)

(1)
On July 21, 2011, we announced a share repurchase program approved by the board of directors for the purchase of up to 5 million shares of common stock that will terminate on July 21, 2014.  Through December 31, 2012, 394,271 shares had been repurchased, and 4,605,729 shares remained available for purchase under that program.


19



Performance Graph

This graph compares the total shareholder return on our common stock with the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor’s 1000 Index (the “S&P 1000”) and a customized peer group of six companies comprised of: Alliant Techsystems, Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, Axiall Corporation (formerly known as Georgia Gulf Corporation), Occidental Petroleum Corporation, PPG Industries, Inc. and Westlake Chemical Corporation.



Data is for the five-year period from December 31, 2007 through December 31, 2012.  The cumulative return includes reinvestment of dividends.  The Peer Group is weighted in accordance with market capitalization (closing stock price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding) as of the beginning of each of the five years covered by the performance graph.  We calculated the weighted return for each year by multiplying (a) the percentage that each corporation’s market capitalization represented of the total market capitalization for all corporations in the Peer Group for such year by (b) the total shareholder return for that corporation for such year.

20





Item 6.  SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

TEN-YEAR SUMMARY
 
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
2007
 
2006
 
2005
 
2004
 
2003
Operations
 
 
 
($ and shares in millions, except per share data)
Sales
 
$
2,185

 
$
1,961

 
$
1,586

 
$
1,532

 
$
1,765

 
$
1,277

 
$
1,040

 
$
955

 
$
766

 
$
703

Cost of goods sold
 
1,748

 
1,574

 
1,350

 
1,223

 
1,377

 
1,035

 
792

 
682

 
639

 
588

Selling and administration
 
177

 
161

 
134

 
135

 
137

 
129

 
129

 
128

 
90

 
78

Loss on restructuring of businesses
 
(9
)
 
(11
)
 
(34
)
 

 

 

 

 

 
(10
)
 

Other operating income
 
8

 
9

 
2

 
9

 
1

 
2

 
7

 
9

 
6

 

Earnings of non-consolidated affiliates
 
3

 
10

 
30

 
38

 
39

 
46

 
45

 
37

 
9

 
6

Interest expense
 
26

 
30

 
25

 
12

 
13

 
22

 
20

 
20

 
20

 
20

Interest and other (expense) income
 
(10
)
 
176

 
2

 
1

 
(20
)
 
12

 
12

 
20

 
5

 
3

Income before taxes from continuing operations
 
226

 
380

 
77

 
210

 
258

 
151

 
163

 
191

 
27

 
26

Income tax provision
 
76

 
138

 
12

 
74

 
100

 
50

 
39

 
74

 
8

 
8

Income from continuing operations
 
150

 
242

 
65

 
136

 
158

 
101

 
124

 
117

 
19

 
18

Discontinued operations, net
 

 

 

 

 

 
(110
)
 
26

 
21

 
36

 
(20
)
Cumulative effect of accounting changes, net
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(5
)
 

 
(22
)
Net income (loss)
 
$
150

 
$
242

 
$
65

 
$
136

 
$
158

 
$
(9
)
 
$
150

 
$
133

 
$
55

 
$
(24
)
Financial position
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash
 
$
177

 
$
357

 
$
561

 
$
459

 
$
247

 
$
333

 
$
276

 
$
304

 
$
147

 
$
190

Working capital, excluding cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments
 
150

 
76

 
33

 
91

 
24

 
(14
)
 
223

 
191

 
232

 
168

Property, plant and equipment, net
 
1,034

 
885

 
675

 
695

 
630

 
504

 
251

 
227

 
205

 
202

Total assets
 
2,778

 
2,450

 
2,049

 
1,932

 
1,720

 
1,731

 
1,642

 
1,802

 
1,621

 
1,448

Capitalization:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Short-term debt
 
24

 
12

 
78

 

 

 
10

 
2

 
1

 
52

 
27

Long-term debt
 
690

 
524

 
418

 
398

 
252

 
249

 
252

 
257

 
261

 
314

Shareholders’ equity
 
998

 
986

 
830

 
822

 
705

 
664

 
543

 
427

 
356

 
176

Total capitalization
 
$
1,712

 
$
1,522

 
$
1,326

 
$
1,220

 
$
957

 
$
923

 
$
797

 
$
685

 
$
669

 
$
517

Per share data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Continuing operations
 
$
1.87

 
$
3.02

 
$
0.82

 
$
1.74

 
$
2.08

 
$
1.36

 
$
1.70

 
$
1.65

 
$
0.27

 
$
0.30

Discontinued operations, net
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1.48
)
 
0.36

 
0.30

 
0.53

 
(0.34
)
Accounting changes, net
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(0.08
)
 

 
(0.38
)
Net income (loss)
 
$
1.87

 
$
3.02

 
$
0.82

 
$
1.74

 
$
2.08

 
$
(0.12
)
 
$
2.06

 
$
1.87

 
$
0.80

 
$
(0.42
)
Diluted:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Continuing operations
 
$
1.85

 
$
2.99

 
$
0.81

 
$
1.73

 
$
2.07

 
$
1.36

 
$
1.70

 
$
1.65

 
$
0.27

 
$
0.30

Discontinued operations, net
 

 

 

 

 

 
(1.48
)
 
0.36

 
0.29

 
0.53

 
(0.34
)
Accounting changes, net
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(0.08
)
 

 
(0.38
)
Net income (loss)
 
$
1.85

 
$
2.99

 
$
0.81

 
$
1.73

 
$
2.07

 
$
(0.12
)
 
$
2.06

 
$
1.86

 
$
0.80

 
$
(0.42
)
Common Cash Dividends
 
0.80

 
0.80

 
0.80

 
0.80

 
0.80

 
0.80

 
0.80

 
0.80

 
0.80

 
0.80

Market price of common stock:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
High
 
23.48

 
27.16

 
22.39

 
19.79

 
30.39

 
24.53

 
22.65

 
25.35

 
22.99

 
20.53

Low
 
18.40

 
16.11

 
14.35

 
8.97

 
12.52

 
15.97

 
14.22

 
16.65

 
15.20

 
14.97

Year end
 
21.59

 
19.65

 
20.52

 
17.52

 
18.08

 
19.33

 
16.52

 
19.68

 
22.02

 
20.06

Other
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Capital expenditures
 
$
256

 
$
201

 
$
85

 
$
138

 
$
180

 
$
76

 
$
62

 
$
63

 
$
38

 
$
33

Depreciation
 
104

 
97

 
85

 
70

 
68

 
47

 
38

 
36

 
33

 
40

Common dividends paid
 
64

 
64

 
63

 
63

 
61

 
59

 
58

 
57

 
56

 
47

Purchases of common stock
 
3

 
4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current ratio
 
1.7

 
2.0

 
2.3

 
2.8

 
1.7

 
1.8

 
2.2

 
2.3

 
2.1

 
2.1

Total debt to total capitalization
 
41.7
%
 
35.2
%
 
37.4
%
 
32.6
%
 
26.4
%
 
28.1
%
 
31.8
%
 
37.7
%
 
46.8
%
 
65.9
%
Effective tax rate
 
33.6
%
 
36.3
%
 
15.7
%
 
35.4
%
 
38.8
%
 
33.1
%
 
24.2
%
 
38.4
%
 
29.6
%
 
30.8
%
Average common shares outstanding - diluted
 
81.0

 
80.8

 
79.9

 
78.3

 
76.1

 
74.3

 
72.8

 
71.6

 
68.4

 
58.3

Shareholders
 
4,100

 
4,400

 
4,600

 
4,900

 
5,100

 
5,300

 
5,700

 
6,100

 
6,400

 
6,800

Employees(1)
 
4,100

 
3,800

 
3,700

 
3,700

 
3,600

 
3,600

 
3,100

 
2,900

 
2,800

 
2,700


Our Selected Financial Data reflects the following businesses as discontinued operations: Metals business in 2007 and Olin Aegis in 2004.  Since August 31, 2007, our Selected Financial Data reflects the Pioneer acquisition.  Since February 28, 2011, our Selected Financial Data reflects the acquisition of the remaining 50% of SunBelt. Since August 22, 2012, our Selected Financial Data reflects the acquisition of KA Steel.

(1)
Employee data exclude employees who worked at government-owned/contractor-operated facilities.


21



Item 7.  MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

Our operations are concentrated in three business segments:  Chlor Alkali Products, Chemical Distribution and Winchester.  Chlor Alkali Products and Winchester are both capital intensive manufacturing businesses.  Chlor Alkali operating rates are closely tied to the general economy.  Each segment has a commodity element to it, and therefore, our ability to influence pricing is quite limited on the portion of the segment’s business that is strictly commodity.  Our Chlor Alkali Products and Chemical Distribution businesses are commodity businesses where all supplier products are similar and price is the major supplier selection criterion.  We have little or no ability to influence prices in this large, global commodity market.  Cyclical price swings, driven by changes in supply/demand, can be abrupt and significant and, given capacity in our Chlor Alkali Products business, can lead to very significant changes in our overall profitability.  Winchester also has a commodity element to its business, but a majority of Winchester ammunition is sold as a branded consumer product where there are opportunities to differentiate certain offerings through innovative new product development and enhanced product performance.  While competitive pricing versus other branded ammunition products is important, it is not the only factor in product selection.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND HIGHLIGHTS

2012 Year

KA Steel Acquisition

On August 22, 2012, we acquired privately-held KA Steel, on a debt free basis, for $336.6 million in cash, after receiving the final working capital adjustment of $1.9 million. The purchase price is still subject to certain post-closing adjustments related to a contingent liability. As of the date of acquisition, KA Steel had cash and cash equivalents of $26.2 million. KA Steel is one of the largest distributors of caustic soda in North America and manufacturers and sells bleach in the Midwest. As part of the acquisition, we expensed $8.3 million of acquisition costs during 2012.

For segment reporting purposes, KA Steel comprises the newly created Chemical Distribution segment. Our results for the year ended December 31, 2012 include KA Steel sales of $156.3 million and $4.5 million of segment income, which includes depreciation and amortization expense of $5.5 million, primarily associated with the acquisition fair valuing of KA Steel.

As a result of acquiring KA Steel, we anticipate realizing approximately $35 million of annual synergies at the end of three years. These synergies include opportunities to sell additional volumes of products we produce such as caustic soda, bleach, hydrochloric acid and potassium hydroxide through KA Steel and to optimize freight cost and logistics assets between Chlor Alkali Products and KA Steel. Also, under the terms of the acquisition, both parties agreed to make an election under Section 338(h)(10) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (U.S. IRC) that is expected to result in cash tax benefits to us that have a net present value of approximately $60 million.

Financing

In August 2012, we sold $200.0 million of 5.5% senior notes (2022 Notes) with a maturity of August 15, 2022. The 2022 Notes were issued at par value. Interest will be paid semi-annually beginning on February 15, 2013. The acquisition of KA Steel was partially financed with proceeds of $196.0 million, after expenses of $4.0 million, from the 2022 Notes.

In June 2012, we redeemed $7.7 million of industrial development and environmental improvement tax-exempt bonds (industrial revenue bonds) due in 2017. We paid a premium of $0.2 million to the bond holders, which was included in interest expense. We also recognized a $0.2 million deferred gain in interest expense related to the interest rate swaps, which were terminated in March 2012, on these industrial revenue bonds. In December 2012, we repaid $12.2 million due under the annual requirements of the SunBelt Notes.

On April 27, 2012, we entered into a new $265 million five-year senior revolving credit facility, which replaced the $240 million senior revolving credit facility and a $25 million letter of credit facility. The new credit facility will expire in April 2017. Borrowing options and restrictive covenants are similar to those of our previous $240 million senior revolving credit facility. The $265 million senior revolving credit facility includes a $110 million letter of credit subfacility and a $50 million Canadian subfacility.

22




Restructurings

On December 9, 2010, our board of directors approved a plan to eliminate our use of mercury in the manufacture of chlor alkali products.  Under the plan, the 260,000 tons of mercury cell capacity at our Charleston, TN facility will be converted to 200,000 tons of membrane capacity capable of producing both potassium hydroxide and caustic soda.  The board of directors also approved a plan to reconfigure our Augusta, GA facility to manufacture bleach and distribute caustic soda, while discontinuing chlor alkali manufacturing at this site.  We based our decision to convert and reconfigure on several factors.  First, during 2009 and 2010 we had experienced a steady increase in the number of customers unwilling to accept our products manufactured using mercury cell technology.  Second, there was federal legislation passed in 2008 governing the treatment of mercury that significantly limits our recycling options after December 31, 2012.  We concluded that exiting mercury cell technology production after 2012 represented an unacceptable future cost risk.  Further, the conversion of the Charleston, TN plant to membrane technology will reduce the electricity usage per ECU produced by approximately 25%.  The decision to reconfigure the Augusta, GA facility to manufacture bleach and distribute caustic soda removes the highest cost production capacity from our system.  Mercury cell chlor alkali production at the Augusta, GA facility was discontinued at the end of September, 2012 and the conversion at Charleston, TN was completed in the second half of 2012 with the successful start-up of two new membrane cell lines. These actions reduced Chlor Alkali capacity by 160,000 tons. The completion of these projects eliminates our chlor alkali production using mercury cell technology.

On November 3, 2010, we announced that we had made the decision to relocate the Winchester centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.  This relocation, when completed, is forecast to reduce Winchester’s annual operating costs by approximately $30 million.  We expect the centerfire relocation project to generate Winchester operating cost savings of $10 million to $15 million in 2013. Consistent with this relocation decision we initiated an estimated $110 million five-year project, which includes approximately $80 million of capital spending.  The State of Mississippi and local governments have provided incentives which should offset approximately 40 percent of the capital spending.  In October 2011, we opened the new centerfire pistol and rifle production facility in Oxford, MS and the pistol and rifle ammunition manufacturing equipment continues to be in the process of being relocated and started up.  During 2012, approximately 66% of Winchester’s pistol ammunition was manufactured in Oxford, MS.  We currently expect to complete this relocation by the end of 2016.  Once completed, Winchester expects to have the most modern centerfire ammunition production facility in North America.

Our total restructuring charges for 2012, 2011 and 2010 related to these actions were $8.5 million, $10.7 million and $34.2 million, respectively.  The restructuring charges included write-off of equipment and facility costs, acceleration of asset retirement obligations, employee severance and related benefit costs, non-cash pension and other postretirement benefits curtailment charges, lease and other contract termination costs, employee relocation costs, and facility exit costs.  We expect to incur approximately $16 million of additional restructuring charges associated with these actions through the end of 2016.

Other Highlights

In 2012, Chlor Alkali Products’ segment income was $263.2 million, an increase of 7% compared to 2011. Segment income was higher than the prior year, as a result of higher product prices and the ownership of SunBelt for the full period. These increases were partially offset by decreased chlorine and caustic soda volumes. Operating rates in Chlor Alkali Products for 2012 and 2011 were 80%.

Our 2012 ECU netbacks of approximately $575 were 1% higher than the 2011 netbacks of approximately $570 due to higher caustic soda prices partially offset by lower chlorine prices. In the first quarter of 2012, a caustic soda price increase was announced of $45 per ton and a chlorine price increase was announced of $40 per ton. In the second quarter of 2012, we announced an additional $60 per ton caustic soda price increase. In the third quarter of 2012, an additional caustic soda price increase was announced of $70 per ton. Finally, in the fourth quarter of 2012, an additional caustic soda price increase was announced for $50 per ton. The fourth quarter of 2012 weakness in chlorine demand resulted in a chlorine price that declined from the third quarter 2012 level. Chlorine prices in our system have declined for six consecutive quarters and we expect an additional decline from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. The chlorine price decline in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the third quarter of 2012 was more than offset by improved caustic soda pricing. In the fourth quarter, caustic soda prices in the Olin system reached the highest level since the second quarter of 2009. As a result, ECU netbacks improved from approximately $560 in the third quarter of 2012 to approximately $580 in the fourth quarter of 2012. While the success of the fourth quarter 2012 caustic soda price increase is not yet known, we do not believe this caustic soda price increase will have a meaningful impact on our first quarter 2013 ECU netbacks. As a result of the anticipated lower chlorine prices, we expect first quarter 2013 ECU netbacks to be slightly lower than the fourth quarter 2012 level.


23



Winchester segment income was $55.2 million in 2012 compared to $37.9 million in 2011. The increase in segment income compared to last year reflects the impact of higher selling prices and increased volumes, partially offset by higher operating costs and incremental costs associated with our ongoing relocation of the centerfire operations to Oxford, MS.

Other operating income in 2012 included $4.9 million of insurance recoveries for business interruption related to an outage of one of our Chlor Alkali customers in the first half of 2012.

Income before taxes for 2012 and 2011 included $0.1 million and $11.4 million, respectively, of recoveries from third parties for environmental costs incurred and expensed in prior periods.

Income tax expense for 2012 included $6.6 million of tax benefits associated with the Agricultural Chemicals Security Tax Credit under Section 45O of the U.S. IRC (Section 45O), which were partially offset by $3.6 million of tax expense associated with remeasurement of deferred taxes, changes in tax contingencies and tax expense associated with previously undistributed earnings from our Winchester Australia Limited subsidiary. Income tax expense for 2011 included $7.3 million of adjustments associated with a remeasurement of deferred taxes due to an increase in state tax effective rates, the expiration of statutes of limitation in federal and state jurisdictions, and the finalization of our 2010 domestic and Canadian income tax returns. Income tax expense for 2011 also included a discrete deferred tax expense of $76.0 million related to the tax effect of the gain recorded on the remeasurement of our previously held 50% equity interest in SunBelt.

Capital spending of $255.7 million for 2012 included $108.1 million for the conversion of our Charleston, TN facility from mercury cell technology to membrane technology, $58.6 million for the construction of low salt, high strength bleach facilities at our McIntosh, AL; Henderson, NV; and Niagara Falls, NY chlor alkali sites and $16.1 million for our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations.  The conversion of our Charleston, TN facility was completed in the second half of 2012 with the successful start-up of two new membrane cell lines and we also completed low salt, high strength bleach facilities at McIntosh, AL and Niagara Falls, NY in the first and third quarters of 2012, respectively.

2011 Year

SunBelt Acquisition

On February 28, 2011, we acquired PolyOne’s 50% interest in SunBelt for $132.3 million in cash plus the assumption of a PolyOne guarantee related to the SunBelt Notes.  With this acquisition, Olin now owns 100% of SunBelt.  The SunBelt chlor alkali plant, which is located within our McIntosh, AL facility, has approximately 350,000 tons of membrane technology capacity.  We also agreed to a three year earn out, which has no guaranteed minimum or maximum, based on the performance of SunBelt.  In conjunction with the acquisition, we consolidated the SunBelt Notes with a fair value of $87.3 million for the remaining principal balance of $85.3 million as of February 28, 2011.

During 2011, our consolidated results included $170.5 million of SunBelt sales and $27.2 million of additional SunBelt pretax income ($38.7 million included in Chlor Alkali Products segment income; less $0.8 million of acquisition costs, $4.0 million of interest expense and $6.7 million of expense for our earn out liability) on the 50% interest we acquired.  Finally, the 2011 results included a one-time pretax, non-cash gain of $181.4 million associated with the remeasurement of our previously held 50% equity interest in SunBelt.  In conjunction with this remeasurement, a discrete deferred tax expense of $76.0 million was recorded.

Other Highlights

In 2011, Chlor Alkali Products’ segment income was $245.0 million, which more than doubled compared with 2010. Chlor Alkali Products’ segment income included $38.7 million of additional income from the acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in SunBelt.  Chlor Alkali Products also realized improved product prices for 2011 compared to 2010.  Operating rates in Chlor Alkali Products for 2011 and 2010 were 80% and 82%, respectively.  The combination of planned multi-month outages by two chlorine customers and a weakening of chlorine demand negatively impacted shipment volumes in 2011.


24



Our 2011 ECU netbacks of approximately $570 were 20% higher than the 2010 netbacks of approximately $475.  In the first quarter of 2011, three caustic soda price increases were announced totaling $150 per ton.  In March 2011, we also announced a $60 per ton chlorine price increase.  In the third quarter of 2011, an additional caustic soda price increase was announced for $65 per ton, which replaced a late second quarter announced caustic soda price increase of $25 per ton.  Finally, in the fourth quarter of 2011, an additional caustic soda price increase was announced for $80 per ton.  The fourth quarter ECU netbacks were approximately $590, which was the first decline in price since the low point in our system in the third quarter of 2009.   ECU netbacks in the fourth quarter declined slightly from the third quarter levels of approximately $595 as chlorine prices weakened, driven by a reduced level of chlorine demand, which more than offset increases in caustic soda prices.

Winchester segment income was $37.9 million in 2011 compared to $63.0 million in 2010.  The Winchester segment income declined from the surge levels of 2010 and 2009.  The decrease in 2011 compared to 2010 reflected the impact of higher commodity metals and other material costs, higher manufacturing costs and incremental costs associated with our ongoing relocation of the centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations to Oxford, MS, partially offset by higher selling prices.

Other operating income for 2011 included a gain of $3.7 million on the sale of a former manufacturing site and $1.9 million of insurance recoveries related to our Oxford, MS and St. Gabriel, LA facilities.

Income before taxes for 2011 and 2010 included $11.4 million and $7.2 million, respectively, of recoveries from third parties for environmental costs incurred and expensed in prior periods.

Income tax expense for 2011 included $7.3 million of adjustments associated with a remeasurement of deferred taxes due to an increase in state tax effective rates, the expiration of statutes of limitation in federal and state jurisdictions, and the finalization of our 2010 domestic and Canadian income tax returns.  Income tax expense for 2011 also included a discrete deferred tax expense of $76.0 million related to the tax effect of the gain recorded on the remeasurement of our previously held 50% equity interest in SunBelt.  Income tax expense for 2010 included $13.5 million of favorable adjustments associated with the expiration of statutes of limitation in domestic and foreign jurisdictions and a reduction in expense related to the release of a valuation allowance recorded against the foreign tax credit carryforward deferred tax asset generated by our Canadian operations.

In December 2011, we repaid the $75.0 million 9.125% Senior Notes (2011 Notes) issued in 2001, and $12.2 million due under the annual requirements of the SunBelt Notes.  These were redeemed using cash.  Also during December 2011, we drew the remaining $36.0 million of variable rate Go Zone bonds that were issued in 2010.  The associated cash was classified as a restricted long-term asset.  On December 31, 2011, there was a $51.7 million restricted cash balance that is required to be used to fund capital projects in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Capital spending of $200.9 million for 2011 included $51.0 million for our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations and $60.0 million for the conversion of our Charleston, TN facility from mercury cell technology to membrane technology.  The capital spending for the ongoing Winchester relocation of $51.0 million was partially financed by $31.0 million of grants received by the State of Mississippi and local governments.  The full amounts of these grants were received in 2011.  The 2011 capital spending also included $20.4 million for the construction of low salt, high strength bleach facilities at our McIntosh, AL; Henderson, NV; and Niagara Falls, NY chlor alkali sites.

2010 Year

In 2010, Chlor Alkali Products’ segment income was $117.2 million, a decrease of 7% compared with 2009.  Chlor Alkali Products began to experience improved chlorine and caustic soda demand during 2010 and experienced an increased level of bleach sales.  Volumes for chlorine and caustic soda improved 15% compared to 2009, while volumes for bleach improved 18%.  Operating rates in Chlor Alkali Products for 2010 and 2009 were 82% and 70%, respectively.


25



Our 2010 ECU netbacks of approximately $475 were 9% lower than the 2009 netbacks of approximately $520; however, the pricing trend was positive throughout 2010 as ECU netbacks increased sequentially from the low level of approximately $375 in the third quarter of 2009.  The fourth quarter of 2010 ECU netbacks were approximately $515.  As business conditions improved throughout 2010, our quarterly chlor alkali operating rates improved year-over-year reaching a 91% operating rate during the summer demand season.  A significant portion of the North American chlor alkali demand improvement came from exports of products made from chlorine, driven by the energy advantage the North American chemical producers enjoy by using natural gas as compared to crude oil.  With demand for both chlorine and caustic soda improving, price increases were announced throughout the year.  During February 2010, an $80 per ton caustic soda price increase was announced.  We began realizing a portion of this price increase in caustic soda in the second quarter of 2010.  Caustic soda demand continued to improve, and as a result, during the third quarter of 2010, three additional caustic soda price increases were announced totaling $135 per ton.  We began realizing the benefits from these price increases and from contracts that re-set on an annual basis in the first half of 2011.

Winchester segment income of $63.0 million in 2010, which represented the second highest level of segment income in at least the last two decades, declined 8% compared to 2009 segment income of $68.6 million.  The higher than normal levels of commercial demand that began in the fourth quarter of 2008 continued through the second quarter of 2010.  Beginning with the third quarter of 2010, Winchester began to experience a decline in commercial demand from the 2009 levels.  However, the second half of 2010 commercial demand remained stronger than 2007 levels.  Commercial volumes, excluding rimfire, for 2010 decreased approximately 12% from 2009 levels.

Income before taxes for 2010 included $7.2 million of recoveries from third parties for environmental costs incurred and expensed in prior periods.

Income tax expense for 2010 included $13.5 million of favorable adjustments associated with the expiration of statutes of limitation in domestic and foreign jurisdictions and a reduction in expense related to the release of a valuation allowance recorded against the foreign tax credit carryforward deferred tax asset generated by our Canadian operations.

In September 2010, we redeemed industrial revenue bonds totaling $18.9 million, with maturity dates of February 2016 and March 2016.  We paid a premium of $0.4 million to the bond holders, which was included in interest expense.  We also recognized a $0.3 million deferred gain in interest expense related to the interest rate swaps, which were terminated in April 2010, on these industrial revenue bonds.  In October 2010, we redeemed additional industrial revenue bonds totaling $1.8 million, with a maturity date of October 2014.

In October 2010, we completed a financing of Go Zone and Recovery Zone tax-exempt bonds totaling $70.0 million due 2024.  We had the option to borrow up to the entire $70.0 million in a series of draw downs through December 31, 2011.  During 2010, we drew $34.0 million of these bonds.  The proceeds from these bonds are required to be used to fund capital project spending at our McIntosh, AL facility.  In December 2010, we completed a financing of Recovery Zone tax exempt bonds totaling $83.0 million due in 2033 and 2035.  During 2010, we drew the entire $83.0 million of the bonds.  The proceeds from the bonds are required to be used to fund the Charleston, TN facility mercury cell conversion and our ongoing Winchester relocation.  Of the $117.0 million drawn from the Go Zone and Recovery Zone bonds as of December 31, 2010, $102.0 million of the associated cash was classified as a noncurrent asset on our consolidated balance sheet as restricted cash, until such time as we could request reimbursement of qualifying amounts used to fund the capital projects in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 and the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 was signed into law on March 31, 2010 (collectively the Healthcare Acts).  The impact of the Healthcare Acts did not have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

CHLOR ALKALI PRODUCTS PRICING

In accordance with industry practice, we calculate Chlor Alkali Products’ prices on an ECU netbacks basis, reporting and analyzing prices net of the cost of transporting the products to customers to allow for a comparable means of price comparisons between periods and with respect to our competitors.  For purposes of determining our ECU netbacks, we use prices that we realize as a result of sales of chlorine and caustic soda to our customers, and we do not include the value of chlorine and caustic soda that is incorporated in other products that we manufacture and sell.


26



Quarterly and annual average ECU netbacks for 2012, 2011, and 2010 were as follows, which include SunBelt ECU netbacks subsequent to February 28, 2011:

 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
First quarter
$
585

 
$
525

 
$
440

Second quarter
575

 
560

 
470

Third quarter
560

 
595

 
465

Fourth quarter
580

 
590

 
515

Annual average
575

 
570

 
475


As business conditions improved throughout 2010, our quarterly chlor alkali operating rates improved year-over-year reaching a 91% operating rate during the summer demand season.  A significant portion of the North American chlor alkali demand improvement came from exports of products made from chlorine, driven by the energy advantage the North American chemical producers enjoy by using natural gas as compared to crude oil.  With demand for both chlorine and caustic soda improving, price increases were announced throughout 2010.  During February 2010, an $80 per ton caustic soda price increase was announced.  We began realizing a portion of this price increase in caustic soda in the second quarter of 2010.  Caustic soda demand continued to improve, and as a result, during the third quarter of 2010, three additional caustic soda price increases were announced totaling $135 per ton.  We began realizing the benefits from these price increases and from contracts that re-set on an annual basis in the first half of 2011.

Our 2011 ECU netbacks of approximately $570 were 20% higher than the 2010 netbacks of approximately $475.  In the first quarter of 2011, three caustic soda price increases were announced totaling $150 per ton.  In March 2011, we also announced a $60 per ton chlorine price increase.  In the third quarter of 2011, an additional caustic soda price increase was announced for $65 per ton, which replaced a late second quarter announced caustic soda price increase of $25 per ton.  Finally, in the fourth quarter of 2011, an additional caustic soda price increase was announced for $80 per ton.  The fourth quarter ECU netbacks were approximately $590, which was the first decline in price since the low point in our system in the third quarter of 2009.  ECU netbacks in the fourth quarter declined slightly from the third quarter levels of approximately $595 as chlorine prices weakened, driven by a reduced level of chlorine demand, which more than offset increases in caustic soda prices.

Our 2012 ECU netbacks of approximately $575 were 1% higher than the 2011 netbacks of approximately $570 due to higher caustic soda prices partially offset by lower chlorine prices. In the first quarter of 2012, a caustic soda price increase was announced of $45 per ton and a chlorine price increase was announced totaling $40 per ton. In the second quarter of 2012, we announced an additional $60 per ton caustic soda price increase. In the third quarter of 2012, an additional caustic soda price increase was announced of $70 per ton. Finally, in the fourth quarter of 2012, an additional caustic soda price increase was announced for $50 per ton. The fourth quarter of 2012 weakness in chlorine demand resulted in a chlorine price that declined from the third quarter 2012 level. Chlorine prices in our system have declined for six consecutive quarters and we expect an additional decline from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. The chlorine price decline in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the third quarter of 2012 was more than offset by improved caustic soda pricing. In the fourth quarter, caustic soda prices in the Olin system reached the highest level since the second quarter of 2009. As a result, ECU netbacks improved from approximately $560 in the third quarter of 2012 to approximately $580 in the fourth quarter of 2012. While the success of the fourth quarter 2012 caustic soda price increase is not yet known, we do not believe this caustic soda price increase will have a meaningful impact on our first quarter 2013 ECU netbacks. As a result of the anticipated lower chlorine prices, we expect first quarter 2013 ECU netbacks to be slightly lower than the fourth quarter 2012 level.

PENSION AND POSTRETIREMENT BENEFITS

Under ASC 715, we recorded an after-tax charge of $101.9 million ($166.8 million pretax) to shareholders’ equity as of December 31, 2012 for our pension and other postretirement plans.  This charge reflected a 100-basis point decrease in the plans’ discount rate, partially offset by the favorable performance on plan assets during 2012.  In 2011, we recorded an after-tax charge of $29.0 million ($46.8 million pretax) to shareholders’ equity as of December 31, 2011 for our pension and other postretirement plans.  This charge reflected a 40-basis point decrease in the plans’ discount rate and an unfavorable actuarial change related to mortality tables, partially offset by the favorable performance on plan assets during 2011.  In 2010, we recorded an after-tax charge of $26.0 million ($42.3 million pretax) to shareholders’ equity as of December 31, 2010 for our pension and other postretirement plans.  This charge reflected a 45-basis point decrease in the plans’ discount rate, partially offset by the favorable performance on plan assets during 2010.  The non-cash charges to shareholders’ equity do not affect our ability to borrow under our senior revolving credit facility.


27



During the third quarter of 2012, the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” became law. The new law changes the mechanism for determining interest rates to be used for calculating minimum defined benefit pension plan funding requirements. Interest rates are determined using an average of rates of a 25-year period, which can have the effect of increasing the annual discount rate, reducing the defined benefit pension plan obligation, and potentially reducing or eliminating the minimum annual funding requirement. The new law also increased premiums paid to the PBGC. Based on our plan assumptions and estimates, we will not be required to make any cash contributions to the domestic defined benefit pension plan at least through 2013 and under the new law may not be required to make any additional contributions for at least the next five years. We do have a small Canadian defined benefit pension plan to which we made $0.9 million of cash contributions in 2012 and 2011 and we anticipate less than $5 million of cash contributions in 2013.  At December 31, 2012, the projected benefit obligation of $2,072.4 million exceeded the market value of assets in our qualified defined benefit pension plans by $91.4 million.

As part of the acquisition of KA Steel, as of December 31, 2012, we have recorded a preliminary contingent liability of $10.0 million for the withdrawal from a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan.

Components of net periodic benefit (income) costs were:
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
($ in millions)
Pension benefits
$
(21.1
)
 
$
(22.5
)
 
$
(17.7
)
Other postretirement benefits
7.4

 
7.8

 
7.3


In June 2011, we recorded a curtailment charge of $1.1 million related to the ratification of a new five and one half year Winchester, East Alton, IL union labor agreement.  In December 2010, we recorded a curtailment charge for pension benefits of $3.2 million and a credit for other postretirement benefits of $0.2 million associated with our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.  These curtailment charges were included in restructuring charges.

In March 2010, we recorded a charge of $1.3 million associated with an agreement to withdraw our Henderson, NV chlor alkali hourly workforce from a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan.

The service cost and the amortization of prior service cost components of pension expense related to employees of the operating segments are allocated to the operating segments based on their respective estimated census data.


28



CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
($ in millions, except per share data)
Sales
$
2,184.7

 
$
1,961.1

 
$
1,585.9

Cost of goods sold
1,748.0

 
1,573.9

 
1,349.9

Gross margin
436.7

 
387.2

 
236.0

Selling and administration
168.6

 
160.6

 
134.4

Restructuring charges
8.5

 
10.7

 
34.2

Acquisition costs
8.3

 
0.8

 

Other operating income
7.6

 
8.8

 
2.5

Operating income
258.9

 
223.9

 
69.9

Earnings of non-consolidated affiliates
3.0

 
9.6

 
29.9

Interest expense
26.4

 
30.4

 
25.4

Interest income
1.0

 
1.2

 
1.0

Other (expense) income
(11.3
)
 
175.1

 
1.5

Income before taxes
225.2

 
379.4

 
76.9

Income tax provision
75.6

 
137.7

 
12.1

Net income
$
149.6

 
$
241.7

 
$
64.8

Net income per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
1.87

 
$
3.02

 
$
0.82

Diluted
$
1.85

 
$
2.99

 
$
0.81


2012 Compared 2011

Sales for 2012 were $2,184.7 million compared to $1,961.1 million last year, an increase of $223.6 million, or 11%.  Sales of the newly acquired Chemical Distribution segment were $156.3 million. Chlor Alkali Products’ sales increased $21.7 million, or 2%, primarily due to the ownership of SunBelt for the full period ($33.1 million), higher product prices ($21.0 million) and a higher level of bleach shipments of 11% compared to 2011 ($13.5 million), partially offset by decreased volumes of chlorine and caustic soda ($19.1 million) and the elimination of intersegment sales from the Chlor Alkali Products segment to the Chemical Distribution segment ($18.1 million). Our ECU netbacks, which include SunBelt subsequent to February 28, 2011, increased 1% compared to last year.  Winchester sales increased by $45.6 million, or 8%, from 2011, primarily due to higher selling prices and increased shipments to domestic commercial customers, partially offset by lower shipments to law enforcement agencies.

Gross margin increased $49.5 million, or 13%, from 2011, primarily as a result of increased Winchester gross margin ($21.2 million), higher Chlor Alkali product prices ($21.0 million), the ownership of SunBelt for the full period ($8.3 million), and additional gross margin contributed by the newly acquired Chemical Distribution segment ($8.0 million), partially offset by the impact of decreased recoveries of $11.3 million from third parties for environmental costs incurred and expensed in prior periods.  Gross margin as a percentage of sales was 20% in 2012 and 2011.

Selling and administration expenses in 2012 increased $8.0 million, or 5%, from 2011, primarily due to increased salary and benefit costs of $5.4 million, increased management incentive compensation expense of $4.1 million, which includes mark-to-market adjustments on stock-based compensation, selling and administration expenses of the acquired KA Steel operations of $3.5 million and the inclusion of a full period of SunBelt’s selling and administration expenses of $1.5 million.  These increases were partially offset by reduced recruiting and relocation costs of $4.1 million and a lower level of legal and legal-related settlement expenses of $3.6 million.  Selling and administration expenses as a percentage of sales were 8% in 2012 and 2011.

Restructuring charges in 2012 and 2011 of $8.5 million and $10.7 million, respectively, were primarily associated with exiting the use of mercury cell technology in the chlor alkali manufacturing process and our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.


29



Acquisition costs in 2012 were related to the acquisition of KA Steel. Acquisition costs in 2011 were related to the acquisition of the remaining 50% of SunBelt.

Other operating income in 2012 decreased by $1.2 million from 2011.  Other operating income in 2012 included $4.9 million of insurance recoveries for business interruption related to an outage of one of our Chlor Alkali customers in the first half of 2012. Other operating income in 2011 included a gain of $3.7 million on the sale of a former manufacturing site and $1.9 million of insurance recoveries related to our Oxford, MS and St. Gabriel, LA facilities.

The earnings of non-consolidated affiliates were $3.0 million for 2012, a decrease of $6.6 million from 2011.  On February 28, 2011, we acquired the remaining 50% interest in SunBelt.  Since the date of acquisition, SunBelt’s results are no longer included in earnings of non-consolidated affiliates but are consolidated in our financial statements.

Interest expense decreased by $4.0 million in 2012, primarily due to an increase of $6.2 million in capitalized interest, primarily associated with the conversion of our Charleston, TN facility from mercury cell technology to membrane technology, partially offset by a higher level of debt outstanding.

Other (expense) income in 2012 and 2011 included $11.5 million and $6.7 million, respectively, of expense for our earn out liability from the SunBelt acquisition.  Other (expense) income in 2011 also included a gain of $181.4 million as a result of remeasuring our previously held 50% equity interest in SunBelt.

The effective tax rate for 2012 included a $6.6 million benefit related to the Section 45O credits, partially offset by a $1.6 million expense associated with the remeasurement of deferred taxes, a $1.3 million expense associated with changes in tax contingencies and a $0.7 million expense associated with previously undistributed earnings from our Winchester Australia Limited subsidiary. After giving consideration to these four items of $3.0 million, the effective tax rate for 2012 of 34.9% was slightly lower than the 35% U.S. federal statutory rate, primarily due to favorable permanent tax deductions, such as the domestic manufacturing deduction and tax deductible dividends paid to the Contributing Employee Ownership Plan (CEOP) and the utilization of certain state tax credits, which were partially offset by state income taxes. The effective tax rate for 2011 included a benefit of $4.9 million related to remeasurement of deferred taxes due to an increase in state tax effective rates, a $4.2 million benefit related to the expiration of statutes of limitations in federal and state jurisdictions, a $1.8 million expense associated with the finalization of our 2010 domestic and Canadian income tax returns and a deferred tax expense of $76.0 million related to the tax effect of the gain recorded on the remeasurement of our previously held 50% equity interest in SunBelt.  After giving consideration to these four items of $68.7 million and the SunBelt pretax gain of $181.4 million, the effective tax rate of 34.8% for 2011 was lower than the 35% U.S. federal statutory rate, primarily due to favorable permanent tax deduction items, such as the domestic manufacturing deduction and tax deductible dividends paid to the CEOP, which were partially offset by state income taxes.
2011 Compared to 2010

Sales for 2011 were $1,961.1 million compared to $1,585.9 million in 2010, an increase of $375.2 million, or 24%.  Chlor Alkali Products’ sales increased $352.5 million, or 34%, primarily due to the inclusion of SunBelt sales of $170.5 million, higher product prices ($112.5 million), a higher level of bleach shipments of 15% compared to 2010 ($24.4 million), and increased hydrochloric acid volumes of 12% compared to 2010 ($36.9 million).  Our ECU netbacks, which include SunBelt subsequent to February 28, 2011, increased 20% compared to 2010.  Winchester sales increased by $22.7 million, or 4%, from 2010, primarily due to increased shipments to domestic commercial customers, military and international customers.

Gross margin increased $151.2 million, or 64%, from 2010, primarily as a result of increased Chlor Alkali Products’ gross margin due to the contribution from SunBelt ($53.8 million) and increased product prices ($112.5 million), partially offset by reduced Winchester gross margin ($23.6 million) resulting from higher commodity and other material costs.  Gross margin as a percentage of sales increased to 20% in 2011 from 15% in 2010.

Selling and administration expenses in 2011 increased $26.2 million, or 19%, from 2010, primarily due to increased expenses associated with the inclusion of SunBelt’s selling and administration expenses of $9.3 million, higher recruiting and relocation charges of $5.2 million, increased salary and benefit costs of $5.1 million, an unfavorable foreign currency impact of $2.4 million, higher bad debt costs of $1.1 million, higher consulting charges of $1.0 million and increased management incentive compensation of $0.5 million, which included mark-to-market adjustments on stock-based compensation.  Selling and administration expenses as a percentage of sales were 8% in 2011 and 2010.


30



Restructuring charges in 2011 and 2010 of $10.7 million and $34.2 million, respectively, were primarily associated with exiting the use of mercury cell technology in the chlor alkali manufacturing process by the end of 2012 and our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.

Acquisition costs in 2011 were related to the acquisition of the remaining 50% of SunBelt.

Other operating income in 2011 increased $6.3 million from 2010.  Other operating income for 2011 included a gain of $3.7 million on the sale of a former manufacturing site and $1.9 million of insurance recoveries related to our Oxford, MS and St. Gabriel, LA facilities.

The earnings of non-consolidated affiliates were $9.6 million for 2011, a decrease of $20.3 million from 2010, primarily due to the acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in SunBelt that was completed on February 28, 2011.  Since the date of acquisition, SunBelt’s results are no longer included in earnings of non-consolidated affiliates but are consolidated in our consolidated financial statements.

Interest expense increased by $5.0 million in 2011, primarily due to a higher level of outstanding debt, which includes the SunBelt Notes, partially offset by lower interest rates.

Other (expense) income in 2011 included a pretax gain of $181.4 million as a result of remeasuring our previously held 50% equity interest in SunBelt, partially offset by $6.7 million of expense for our earn out liability from the SunBelt acquisition.  Other (expense) income in 2010 included a $1.4 million recovery from an investment in corporate debt securities that was written off in 2008.

The effective tax rate for 2011 included a benefit of $4.9 million related to remeasurement of deferred taxes due to an increase in state tax effective rates, a $4.2 million benefit related to the expiration of statutes of limitations in federal and state jurisdictions, a $1.8 million expense associated with the finalization of our 2010 domestic and Canadian income tax returns and a deferred tax expense of $76.0 million related to the tax effect of the gain recorded on the remeasurement of our previously held 50% equity interest in SunBelt.  After giving consideration to these four items of $68.7 million and the SunBelt pretax gain of $181.4 million, the effective tax rate of 34.8% for 2011 was lower than the 35% U.S. federal statutory rate, primarily due to favorable permanent tax deduction items, such as the domestic manufacturing deduction and tax deductible dividends paid to the CEOP, which were partially offset by state income taxes.  The effective tax rate for 2010 included a $9.2 million reduction in expense associated with the expiration of statutes of limitation in domestic and foreign jurisdictions, and a $4.3 million reduction in expense related to the release of a valuation allowance recorded against the foreign tax credit carryforward deferred tax asset generated by our Canadian operations.  After giving consideration to these two items of $13.5 million, the effective rate for 2010 of 33.3% was lower than the 35% U.S. federal statutory rate primarily due to favorable tax benefits of permanent tax deduction items, such as the domestic manufacturing deduction and tax deductible dividends paid to the CEOP, which were offset in part by state income taxes.



31



SEGMENT RESULTS

We define segment results as income (loss) before interest expense, interest income, other operating income, other (expense) income, and income taxes and include the results of non-consolidated affiliates.  Consistent with the guidance in ASC 280 “Segment Reporting” (ASC 280), we have determined it is appropriate to include the operating results of non-consolidated affiliates in the relevant segment financial results. Intersegment sales of $18.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, representing the sale of caustic soda, bleach and hydrochloric acid to Chemical Distribution from Chlor Alkali Products, at prices that approximate market, have been eliminated from Chlor Alkali Products segment sales.

 
Years ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
Sales:
($ in millions)
Chlor Alkali Products
$
1,410.8

 
$
1,389.1

 
$
1,036.6

Chemical Distribution
156.3

 

 

Winchester
617.6

 
572.0

 
549.3

Total sales
$
2,184.7

 
$
1,961.1

 
$
1,585.9

Income before taxes:
 
 
 
 
 
Chlor Alkali Products(1)
$
263.2

 
$
245.0

 
$
117.2

Chemical Distribution
4.5

 

 

Winchester
55.2

 
37.9

 
63.0

Corporate/Other:
 
 
 
 
 
Pension income(2)
27.2

 
27.8

 
24.6

Environmental expense(3)
(8.3
)
 
(7.9
)
 
(9.1
)
Other corporate and unallocated costs
(70.7
)
 
(66.6
)
 
(64.2
)
Restructuring charges(4)
(8.5
)
 
(10.7
)
 
(34.2
)
Acquisition costs(5)
(8.3
)
 
(0.8
)
 

Other operating income(6)
7.6

 
8.8

 
2.5

Interest expense(7)
(26.4
)
 
(30.4
)
 
(25.4
)
Interest income
1.0

 
1.2

 
1.0

Other (expense) income(8)
(11.3
)
 
175.1

 
1.5

Income before taxes
$
225.2

 
$
379.4

 
$
76.9


(1)
Earnings of non-consolidated affiliates are included in the Chlor Alkali Products segment results consistent with management’s monitoring of the operating segment.  The earnings from non-consolidated affiliates were $3.0 million, $9.6 million and $29.9 million for the years ended 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.  On February 28, 2011, we acquired the remaining 50% interest in SunBelt.  Since the date of acquisition, SunBelt’s results are no longer included in earnings of non-consolidated affiliates but are consolidated in our consolidated financial statements.

(2)
The service cost and the amortization of prior service cost components of pension expense related to the employees of the operating segments are allocated to the operating segments based on their respective estimated census data.  All other components of pension costs are included in corporate/other and include items such as the expected return on plan assets, interest cost and recognized actuarial gains and losses.  Pension income for the year ended 2010 included a charge of $1.3 million associated with an agreement to withdraw our Henderson, NV chlor alkali hourly workforce from a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan.

(3)
Environmental expense for the years ended 2012, 2011 and 2010 included $0.1 million, $11.4 million and $7.2 million, respectively, of recoveries from third parties for costs incurred and expensed in prior periods.  Environmental expense is included in cost of goods sold in the consolidated statements of operations.

(4)
Restructuring charges for the years ended 2012, 2011 and 2010 were primarily associated with exiting the use of mercury cell technology in the chlor alkali manufacturing process and our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.


32



(5)
Acquisition costs in 2012 were related to the acquisition of KA Steel. Acquisition costs in 2011 were related to the acquisition of the remaining 50% of SunBelt.

(6)
Other operating income for the year ended 2012 included $4.9 million of insurance recoveries for business interruption related to an outage at one of our Chlor Alkali customers in the first half of 2012. Other operating income for the year ended 2011 included a gain of $3.7 million on the sale of a former manufacturing site and $1.9 million of insurance recoveries related to our Oxford, MS and St. Gabriel, LA facilities.

(7)
Interest expense was reduced by capitalized interest of $7.4 million, $1.2 million and $0.9 million for the years ended 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

(8)
Other (expense) income for the year ended 2012 and 2011 included $11.5 million and $6.7 million, respectively, of expense for our earn out liability from the SunBelt acquisition. Other (expense) income for the year ended 2011 also included a pretax gain of $181.4 million as a result of remeasuring our previously held 50% equity interest in SunBelt.  The income tax provision for the year ended 2011 included a $76.0 million discrete deferred tax expense as a result of the remeasurement of the SunBelt investment.  Other (expense) income for the year ended 2010 included a $1.4 million recovery from a $26.6 million investment in corporate debt securities, whose full value was written off in 2008.

Chlor Alkali Products

2012 Compared to 2011

Chlor Alkali Products’ sales for 2012 were $1,410.8 million compared to $1,389.1 million for 2011, an increase of $21.7 million, or 2%.  The significant factors impacting the sales increase were higher product prices ($21.0 million) and increased SunBelt sales of $33.1 million for the additional two months of our ownership.  Bleach volumes increased 11% for 2012 compared to last year, which increased sales by $13.5 million.  These increases were partially offset by decreased volumes of chlorine and caustic soda of 1%, which decreased sales by $19.1 million, and the elimination of intersegment sales from the Chlor Alkali Products segment to the Chemical Distribution segment ($18.1 million). Our ECU netbacks, which include SunBelt subsequent to February 28, 2011, were approximately $575 for 2012 compared to approximately $570 for 2011.  Freight costs included in the ECU netbacks increased 4% for 2012, compared to last year, primarily due to higher railroad freight rates.  Our operating rate for 2012 and 2011 was 80%. We discuss product prices in more detail above under “Chlor Alkali Products Pricing.”

Chlor Alkali Products generated segment income of $263.2 million for 2012, compared to $245.0 million for 2011, an increase of $18.2 million.  Chlor Alkali Products’ segment income was higher primarily due to higher product prices ($21.0 million) and higher SunBelt earnings for the additional two months of our ownership ($8.3 million), primarily related to higher ECU netbacks and $7.5 million of additional income on the remaining 50% interest we acquired.  These increases were partially offset by decreased volumes ($11.1 million).

2011 Compared to 2010

Chlor Alkali Products’ sales for 2011 were $1,389.1 million compared to $1,036.6 million for 2010, an increase of $352.5 million, or 34%.  The acquisition of SunBelt contributed sales of $170.5 million for 2011.  Chlor Alkali Products’ sales, excluding SunBelt, increased $182.0 million, or 18%.  The sales increase was primarily due to higher product prices ($112.5 million).  Bleach volumes increased 15% for 2011 compared to 2010, which increased sales by $24.4 million and hydrochloric acid volumes increased 12% compared to 2010, which increased sales by $36.9 million.  Chlorine and caustic soda volumes increased 1% from 2010.  Our ECU netbacks, which include SunBelt subsequent to February 28, 2011, were approximately $570 for 2011 compared to approximately $475 for 2010.  Freight costs included in the ECU netbacks increased 20% for 2011 compared to 2010, primarily due to higher railroad freight rates.  Our operating rate for 2011 was 80% compared to our operating rate of 82% in 2010.  The 2011 operating rate was affected by the combination of planned multi-month outages by two chlorine customers and a weakening of chlorine demand. We discuss product prices in more detail above under “Chlor Alkali Products Pricing.”

Chlor Alkali Products posted segment income of $245.0 million for 2011, compared to $117.2 million for 2010, an increase of $127.8 million, or 109%.  Chlor Alkali Products’ segment income was higher primarily due to higher product prices ($112.5 million), higher SunBelt earnings ($53.8 million) and increased volumes ($8.0 million).  The higher SunBelt earnings primarily related to $38.7 million of additional income on the remaining 50% interest we acquired and higher ECU netbacks.  These increases were partially offset by increased operating costs ($46.5 million), primarily raw materials and electricity.

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Chemical Distribution

For segment reporting purposes, KA Steel comprises the newly created Chemical Distribution segment. The KA Steel results of operations have been included in our consolidated results for the period subsequent to the effective date of the acquisition. Our results for 2012 include KA Steel sales of $156.3 million and $4.5 million of segment income, which includes depreciation and amortization expense of $5.5 million, primarily associated with the acquisition fair valuing of KA Steel.
Winchester

2012 Compared to 2011

Winchester sales were $617.6 million for 2012 compared to $572.0 million for 2011, an increase of $45.6 million, or 8%.  Sales of ammunition to domestic commercial customers were higher by $49.8 million.  This increase was partially offset by a reduction in shipments to law enforcement agencies of $5.0 million.  Shipments to military and international customers were comparable to last year.

Winchester reported segment income of $55.2 million for 2012 compared to $37.9 million for 2011, an increase of $17.3 million, or 46%.  The increase in segment income in 2012 compared to 2011 reflected the impact of higher selling prices ($20.1 million) and increased volumes ($8.2 million). These increases were partially offset by higher operating costs ($9.2 million), including incremental costs associated with our ongoing relocation of the centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations to Oxford, MS, and the impact of higher commodity and other material costs ($1.8 million). The incremental costs associated with our ongoing relocation of the centerfire operations to Oxford, MS increased in 2012 compared to 2011 by $1.4 million.

2011 Compared to 2010

Winchester sales were $572.0 million for 2011 compared to $549.3 million for 2010, an increase of $22.7 million, or 4%.  Sales of ammunition to domestic commercial customers increased $10.2 million, shipments to military and international customers increased $7.9 million and $7.2 million, respectively, and shipments to industrial customers, who primarily supply the construction sector, increased $1.2 million.  These increases were partially offset by lower shipments to law enforcement agencies of $3.8 million.

Winchester reported segment income of $37.9 million for 2011 compared to $63.0 million for 2010, a decrease of $25.1 million, or 40%.  The decrease in segment income in 2011 compared to 2010 reflected the impact of higher commodity metal and other material costs ($25.1 million), higher operating costs ($15.3 million) including incremental costs associated with our ongoing relocation of the centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations to Oxford, MS, partially offset by higher selling prices ($15.7 million). The incremental costs associated with our ongoing relocation of the centerfire operations to Oxford, MS increased in 2011 compared to 2010 by $4.0 million.

Corporate/Other

2012 Compared to 2011

For 2012, pension income included in corporate/other was $27.2 million compared to $27.8 million for 2011.  On a total company basis, defined benefit pension income for 2012 was $21.1 million compared to $22.5 million for 2011. Pension income on a total company basis for 2011 included a curtailment charge of $1.1 million associated with our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS, which was included in the restructuring charges for 2011.

Charges to income for environmental investigatory and remedial activities were $8.3 million for 2012 compared to $7.9 million for 2011, which included $0.1 million and $11.4 million, respectively, of recoveries from third parties for costs incurred and expensed in prior periods.  Without these recoveries, charges to income for environmental investigatory and remedial activities would have been $8.4 million for 2012 compared to $19.3 million for 2011.  These charges related primarily to expected future investigatory and remedial activities associated with past manufacturing operations and former waste disposal sites.


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For 2012, other corporate and unallocated costs were $70.7 million compared to $66.6 million for 2011, an increase of $4.1 million, or 6%.  The increase was primarily due to increased asset retirement obligation and legacy site charges of $2.4 million, the elimination of intersegment profits in inventory on sales from the Chlor Alkali Products segment to the Chemical Distribution segment of $1.1 million, higher stock-based compensation of $1.0 million, primarily resulting from mark-to-market adjustments and higher salary and benefit costs of $0.9 million. These increases were partially offset by a lower level of legal and legal-related settlement expense of $1.4 million.

2011 Compared to 2010

For 2011, pension income included in corporate/other was $27.8 million compared to $24.6 million for 2010.  Pension income for 2010 included a charge of $1.3 million associated with an agreement to withdraw our Henderson, NV chlor alkali hourly workforce from a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan.  On a total company basis, defined benefit pension income for 2011 was $22.5 million compared to $17.7 million for 2010.  Pension income on a total company basis for 2011 and 2010 included curtailment charges of $1.1 million and $3.2 million, respectively, associated with our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS, which were included in the restructuring charges for 2011 and 2010.

Charges to income for environmental investigatory and remedial activities were $7.9 million for 2011 compared to $9.1 million for 2010, which included $11.4 million and $7.2 million, respectively, of recoveries from third parties for costs incurred and expensed in prior periods.  Without these recoveries, charges to income for environmental investigatory and remedial activities would have been $19.3 million for 2011 compared with $16.3 million for 2010.  These charges related primarily to expected future investigatory and remedial activities associated with past manufacturing operations and former waste disposal sites.

For 2011, other corporate and unallocated costs were $66.6 million compared to $64.2 million for 2010, an increase of $2.4 million, or 4%.  The increase was primarily due to higher salary and benefit costs of $2.6 million, increased asset retirement obligation and legacy site charges of $1.2 million, an unfavorable foreign currency impact of $1.0 million and higher consulting charges of $0.5 million.  These increases were partially offset by a lower level of legal and legal-related settlement expenses of $2.6 million and decreased management incentive compensation of $0.5 million, primarily due to mark-to-market adjustments on stock-based compensation.

2013 OUTLOOK

Net income in the first quarter of 2013 is projected to be in the $0.40 to $0.45 per diluted share range compared with $0.48 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2012.

In Chlor Alkali Products, the first quarter of 2013 segment earnings are expected to decrease compared with the first quarter of 2012 earnings of $74.4 million. The expected decline in segment earnings anticipates lower ECU netbacks and lower chlorine and caustic soda shipment volumes. The fourth quarter of 2012 weakness in chlorine demand resulted in a chlorine price that declined from the third quarter 2012 level. Chlorine prices in our system have declined for six consecutive quarters and we expect an additional decline from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. The chlorine price decline in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the third quarter of 2012 was more than offset by improved caustic soda pricing. In the fourth quarter, caustic soda prices in the Olin system reached the highest level since the second quarter of 2009. As a result, ECU netbacks improved from approximately $560 in the third quarter of 2012 to approximately $580 in the fourth quarter of 2012. While the success of the fourth quarter 2012 caustic soda price increase is not yet known, we do not believe this caustic soda price increase will have a meaningful impact on our first quarter 2013 ECU netbacks. As a result of the anticipated lower chlorine prices, we expect first quarter 2013 ECU netbacks to be slightly lower than the fourth quarter 2012 level.

Chemical Distribution first quarter 2013 segment earnings are expected to increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2012 earnings of $2.6 million. As a result of acquiring KA Steel, we anticipate realizing approximately $35 million of annual synergies at the end of three years and $7 million to $10 million of synergies in 2013. These synergies include opportunities to sell additional volumes of products we produce such as caustic soda, bleach, hydrochloric acid and potassium hydroxide through KA Steel and to optimize freight cost and logistics assets between the Chlor Alkali Products and KA Steel businesses.


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Winchester first quarter 2013 segment earnings are expected to improve significantly compared with the first quarter of 2012 segment earnings of $10.8 million.  Higher commercial volumes and increased selling prices are forecast to positively impact the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012. Beginning around the time of the November 2012 presidential election, consumer purchases of ammunition surged significantly above normal demand levels. The surge in demand has been across all of Winchester’s commercial product offerings. The increase in commercial demand can be illustrated by the increase in Winchester’s commercial backlog, which was $310.9 million at January 31, 2013 compared to $138.3 million at December 31, 2012 and $37.6 million at January 31, 2012. Winchester anticipates that higher than normal levels of demand for its commercial customers will continue at least into the third quarter of 2013. Winchester also anticipates that the price of commodity metals in 2013 will be comparable with 2012.

In October 2011, Winchester opened the new centerfire pistol and rifle production facility in Oxford, MS and the pistol and rifle ammunition manufacturing equipment continues to be in the process of being relocated and started up. During 2012, approximately 66% of Winchester’s pistol ammunition was manufactured in Oxford, MS. This relocation, which is forecast to be completed in 2016, is forecast to reduce Winchester’s annual operating costs by approximately $30 million. We expect the centerfire relocation project to generate Winchester operating costs savings of $10 million to $15 million in 2013.

We anticipate that 2013 charges for environmental investigatory and remedial activities will be in the $18 million to $22 million range.  We do not believe that there will be recoveries of environmental costs incurred and expensed in prior periods in 2013.

We expect defined benefit pension plan income in 2013 to be similar to the 2012 level.  Based on our plan assumptions and estimates, we will not be required to make any cash contributions to our domestic defined benefit pension plan in 2013 and under the new law, we may not be required to make any additional contributions for at least five years.  We do have a small Canadian defined benefit pension plan to which we made contributions of $0.9 million in both 2012 and 2011, and we anticipate cash contributions of less than $5 million in 2013.

During the first quarter of 2013, we are anticipating pretax restructuring charges of approximately $3.5 million, primarily associated with our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS and exiting the use of mercury cell technology in the chlor alkali manufacturing.  We are expecting total pretax restructuring charges for 2013 related to these projects to be approximately $10 million.  We expect to incur additional restructuring charges through 2016 totaling approximately $6 million related to our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.

In 2013, we expect our capital spending to be in the $100 million to $130 million range, which includes spending for a low salt high strength bleach facility and a hydrochloric acid expansion project at our Henderson, NV chlor alkali site and spending for our ongoing relocation of Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations. We expect the Henderson, NV projects to be completed during the first half of 2013. We expect 2013 depreciation and amortization expense to be in the $135 million to $140 million range.

We believe the 2013 effective tax rate will be in the 35% to 37% range.

ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
Cash outlays (receipts):
($ in millions)
Remedial and investigatory spending (charged to reserve)
$
25.5

 
$
23.3

 
$
15.7

Recoveries from third parties
(0.1
)
 
(11.4
)
 
(7.2
)
Capital spending
1.5

 
2.5

 
1.3

Plant operations (charged to cost of goods sold)
25.1

 
26.1

 
24.1

Total cash outlays
$
52.0

 
$
40.5

 
$
33.9


Cash outlays for remedial and investigatory activities associated with former waste sites and past operations were not charged to income but instead were charged to reserves established for such costs identified and expensed to income in prior years.  Cash outlays for normal plant operations for the disposal of waste and the operation and maintenance of pollution control equipment and facilities to ensure compliance with mandated and voluntarily imposed environmental quality standards were charged to income.


36



Total environmental-related cash outlays in 2012 increased compared to 2011, primarily driven by decreased recoveries from third parties of costs incurred and expensed in prior periods.  Total environmental-related cash outlays in 2011 increased compared to 2010, primarily driven by remedial and investigatory spending due to the implementation of a remedial action plan at a former waste disposal site in 2011, partially offset by increased recoveries from third parties of costs incurred and expensed in prior periods. Total environmental-related cash outlays for 2013 are estimated to be approximately $50 million, of which approximately $21 million is expected to be spent on investigatory and remedial efforts, approximately $2 million on capital projects and approximately $27 million on normal plant operations.  Remedial and investigatory spending is anticipated to be lower in 2013 than 2012 due to completing a remedial action plan at a former waste disposal site in 2012.  Historically, we have funded our environmental capital expenditures through cash flow from operations and expect to do so in the future.

Annual environmental-related cash outlays for site investigation and remediation, capital projects, and normal plant operations are expected to range between $45 million to $65 million over the next several years, $15 million to $35 million of which is for investigatory and remedial efforts, which are expected to be charged against reserves recorded on our consolidated balance sheet.  While we do not anticipate a material increase in the projected annual level of our environmental-related cash outlays, there is always the possibility that such an increase may occur in the future in view of the uncertainties associated with environmental exposures.

Our liabilities for future environmental expenditures were as follows:
 
December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
($ in millions)
Beginning balance
$
163.3

 
$
167.6

 
$
166.1

Charges to income
8.4

 
19.3

 
16.3

Remedial and investigatory spending
(25.5
)
 
(23.3
)
 
(15.7
)
Currency translation adjustments
0.3

 
(0.3
)
 
0.9

Ending balance
$
146.5

 
$
163.3

 
$
167.6


In the United States, the establishment and implementation of federal, state, and local standards to regulate air, water and land quality affect substantially all of our manufacturing locations.  Federal legislation providing for regulation of the manufacture, transportation, use, and disposal of hazardous and toxic substances, and remediation of contaminated sites, has imposed additional regulatory requirements on industry, particularly the chemicals industry.  In addition, implementation of environmental laws, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Clean Air Act, has required and will continue to require new capital expenditures and will increase plant operating costs.  Our Canadian facility is governed by federal environmental laws administered by Environment Canada and by provincial environmental laws enforced by administrative agencies.  Many of these laws are comparable to the U.S. laws described above.  We employ waste minimization and pollution prevention programs at our manufacturing sites.

We are party to various governmental and private environmental actions associated with past manufacturing facilities and former waste disposal sites.  Associated costs of investigatory and remedial activities are provided for in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles governing probability and the ability to reasonably estimate future costs.  Our ability to estimate future costs depends on whether our investigatory and remedial activities are in preliminary or advanced stages.  With respect to unasserted claims, we accrue liabilities for costs that, in our experience, we may incur to protect our interests against those unasserted claims.  Our accrued liabilities for unasserted claims amounted to $2.4 million at December 31, 2012.  With respect to asserted claims, we accrue liabilities based on remedial investigation, feasibility study, remedial action and operation, maintenance and monitoring (OM&M) expenses that, in our experience, we may incur in connection with the asserted claims.  Required site OM&M expenses are estimated and accrued in their entirety for required periods not exceeding 30 years, which reasonably approximates the typical duration of long-term site OM&M.  Charges or credits to income for investigatory and remedial efforts were material to operating results in 2012, 2011 and 2010 and may be material to operating results in future years.


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Environmental provisions charged (credited) to income, which are included in cost of goods sold, were as follows:

 
Years ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
($ in millions)
Charges to income
$
8.4

 
$
19.3

 
$
16.3

Recoveries from third parties of costs incurred and expensed in prior periods
(0.1
)
 
(11.4
)
 
(7.2
)
Total environmental expense
$
8.3

 
$
7.9

 
$
9.1


These charges relate primarily to remedial and investigatory activities associated with past manufacturing operations and former waste disposal sites.

Our total estimated environmental liability at the end of 2012 was attributable to 71 sites, 17 of which were USEPA National Priority List (NPL) sites.  Ten sites accounted for 77% of our environmental liability and, of the remaining 61 sites, no one site accounted for more than 3% of our environmental liability.  At seven of the ten sites, part of the site is subject to a remedial investigation and another part is in the long-term OM&M stage.  At two of these ten sites, a remedial investigation is being performed.  The one remaining site is in long-term OM&M.  All ten sites are either associated with past manufacturing operations or former waste disposal sites.  None of the ten largest sites represents more than 21% of the liabilities reserved on our consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2012 for future environmental expenditures.

Our consolidated balance sheets included liabilities for future environmental expenditures to investigate and remediate known sites amounting to $146.5 million at December 31, 2012, and $163.3 million at December 31, 2011, of which $125.5 million and $132.3 million, respectively, were classified as other noncurrent liabilities.  Our environmental liability amounts did not take into account any discounting of future expenditures or any consideration of insurance recoveries or advances in technology.  These liabilities are reassessed periodically to determine if environmental circumstances have changed and/or remediation efforts and our estimate of related costs have changed.  As a result of these reassessments, future charges to income may be made for additional liabilities.  Of the $146.5 million included on our consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2012 for future environmental expenditures, we currently expect to utilize $84.3 million of the reserve for future environmental expenditures over the next 5 years, $18.9 million for expenditures 6 to 10 years in the future, and $43.3 million for expenditures beyond 10 years in the future.  These estimates are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, as described in Item 1A “Risk Factors—Environmental Costs.”

Environmental exposures are difficult to assess for numerous reasons, including the identification of new sites, developments at sites resulting from investigatory studies, advances in technology, changes in environmental laws and regulations and their application, changes in regulatory authorities, the scarcity of reliable data pertaining to identified sites, the difficulty in assessing the involvement and financial capability of other PRPs, our ability to obtain contributions from other parties and the lengthy time periods over which site remediation occurs.  It is possible that some of these matters (the outcomes of which are subject to various uncertainties) may be resolved unfavorably to us, which could materially adversely affect our financial position or results of operations.  At December 31, 2012, we estimate it is reasonably possible that we may have additional contingent environmental liabilities of $40 million in addition to the amounts for which we have already recorded as a reserve.


38



LEGAL MATTERS AND CONTINGENCIES

We, and our subsidiaries, are defendants in various legal actions (including proceedings based on alleged exposures to asbestos) incidental to our past and current business activities.  We describe some of these matters in Item 3—“Legal Proceedings.”  At December 31, 2012 and 2011, our consolidated balance sheets included liabilities for these legal actions of $15.2 million and $16.4 million, respectively.  These liabilities do not include costs associated with legal representation.  Based on our analysis, and considering the inherent uncertainties associated with litigation, we do not believe that it is reasonably possible that these legal actions will materially adversely affect our financial position, cash flows or results of operations.

During the ordinary course of our business, contingencies arise resulting from an existing condition, situation, or set of circumstances involving an uncertainty as to the realization of a possible gain contingency.  In certain instances such as environmental projects, we are responsible for managing the cleanup and remediation of an environmental site.  There exists the possibility of recovering a portion of these costs from other parties.  We account for gain contingencies in accordance with the provisions of ASC 450 “Contingencies” (ASC 450) and therefore do not record gain contingencies and recognize income until it is earned and realizable.

LIQUIDITY, INVESTMENT ACTIVITY AND OTHER FINANCIAL DATA

Cash Flow Data
 
Years ended December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
Provided by (used for)
($ in millions)
Gain on remeasurement of investment in SunBelt
$

 
$
(181.4
)
 
$

Net operating activities
279.2

 
215.9

 
115.5

Capital expenditures
(255.7
)
 
(200.9
)
 
(85.3
)
Business acquired in purchase transaction, net of cash acquired
(310.4
)
 
(123.4
)
 

Restricted cash activity, net
39.8

 
50.3

 
(102.0
)
Net investing activities
(512.4
)
 
(259.6
)
 
(159.7
)
Long-term debt borrowings (repayments), net
180.1

 
(51.2
)
 
96.3

Earn out payment - SunBelt
(15.3
)
 

 

Net financing activities
93.6

 
(110.1
)
 
44.3


Operating Activities

For 2012, cash provided by operating activities increased by $63.3 million from 2011, primarily due to higher earnings and a decrease in working capital in 2012.  For 2012, working capital decreased $18.4 million compared to an increase of $22.0 million in 2011.  The decrease in 2012 was primarily due to decreased inventories of $17.9 million, primarily at Winchester. The 2012 cash from operations was also impacted by a $13.1 million decrease in cash tax payments.

For 2011, cash provided by operating activities increased by $100.4 million from 2010, primarily due to higher earnings, partially offset by a larger increase in working capital.  In 2011, working capital increased $22.0 million compared with an increase of $9.7 million in 2010.  Receivables increased during 2011 by $26.2 million as a result of higher sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to 2010.  Inventories increased from December 31, 2010 by $17.0 million, partially due to our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.  Accounts payable and accrued liabilities increased from December 31, 2010 by $15.6 million.  The 2011 cash from operations was also impacted by a $47.4 million increase in cash tax payments.  In 2011, we made cash contributions to our Canadian qualified defined benefit pension plan of $0.9 million compared with $9.8 million in 2010.


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Capital Expenditures

Capital spending was $255.7 million, $200.9 million, and $85.3 million in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.  Capital spending for 2012 and 2011 included $108.1 million and $60.0 million, respectively, for the conversion of our Charleston, TN facility from mercury cell technology to membrane technology and $58.6 million and $20.4 million, respectively, for the construction of low salt, high strength bleach facilities at our McIntosh, AL, Henderson, NV and Niagara Falls, NY chlor alkali sites. Capital spending for 2012 and 2011 also included $16.1 million and $51.0 million, respectively, for our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations. The capital spending for the ongoing Winchester relocation was partially financed by $31 million of grants provided by the State of Mississippi and local governments.  The full amounts of these grants were received in 2011.  Capital spending in 2010 included bleach manufacturing and bleach shipping by railroad expansion projects at three of our Chlor Alkali facilities.  Capital spending was 245%, 206%, and 100% of depreciation in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

The conversion of our Charleston, TN facility was completed in the second half of 2012 with the successful start-up of two new membrane cell lines. We also completed low salt, high strength bleach facilities at McIntosh, AL and Niagara Falls, NY in the first and third quarters of 2012, respectively, and expect the remaining low salt, high strength facility at Henderson, NV to be completed during the first quarter of 2013. These three new facilities will increase total bleach manufacturing capacity by an additional 50% over 2011 capacity. These low salt, high strength bleach facilities manufacture bleach with approximately twice the concentration, which should significantly reduce transportation costs.

In 2013, we expect our capital spending to be in the $100 million to $130 million range, which includes spending for a low salt, high strength bleach facility and a hydrochloric acid expansion project at our Henderson, NV chlor alkali site and spending for our ongoing relocation of Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations. We expect the Henderson, NV projects to be completed during the first half of 2013.

Investing Activities

On August 22, 2012, we acquired KA Steel and paid cash of $310.4 million, after receiving the final working capital adjustment of $1.9 million, net of $26.2 million of cash acquired. The purchase price is still subject to certain post-closing adjustments related to a contingent liability.

On February 28, 2011, we acquired the remaining 50% interest in SunBelt and paid cash of $123.4 million, net of $8.9 million of cash acquired.

In 2011 and 2010, we drew $36.0 million and $117.0 million, respectively, of Go Zone and Recovery Zone bonds issued in 2010.  The proceeds of these bonds are required to be used to fund capital projects in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  As of December 31, 2012, $11.9 million of the proceeds have not been used and are classified as a noncurrent asset on our consolidated balance sheet as restricted cash.  In 2012, 2011 and 2010, we utilized $39.8 million, $86.3 million and $15.0 million, respectively, of the Go Zone and Recovery Zone proceeds to fund qualifying capital spending.

During 2012 and 2011, we entered into sale/leaseback transactions for caustic soda barges and chlorine railcars that we acquired during 2012 and 2011.  In 2012 and 2011, we received proceeds from the sales of $4.4 million and $3.2 million, respectively.

Financing Activities

In August 2012, we sold $200.0 million of 2022 Notes with a maturity date of August 15, 2022. The 2022 Notes were issued at par value. Interest will be paid semi-annually beginning on February 15, 2013. The acquisition of KA Steel was partially financed with proceeds of $196.0 million, after expenses of $4.0 million, from the 2022 Notes.

In June 2012, we redeemed industrial revenue bonds totaling $7.7 million with a maturity date of 2017. We paid a premium of $0.2 million to the bond holders, which was included in interest expense. We also recognized a $0.2 million deferred gain in interest expense related to the interest rate swap, which was terminated in March 2012, on these industrial revenue bonds.

In December 2012 and 2011, we repaid $12.2 million due under the annual requirements of the SunBelt Notes. In December 2011, we also repaid the $75.0 million 2011 Notes, which became due.


40



In December 2010, we completed a financing of Recovery Zone bonds totaling $83.0 million due 2033 and 2035.  During December 2010, we drew the entire $83.0 million of the bonds.  As of December 31, 2012, $11.9 million of the proceeds remain with the trustee and are classified as a noncurrent asset on our consolidated balance sheet as restricted cash, until such time as we request reimbursement of qualifying amounts used for our ongoing Winchester relocation.

In October 2010, we completed a financing of Go Zone and Recovery Zone bonds totaling $70.0 million due 2024.  We drew $36.0 million of these bonds in 2011 and $34.0 million in 2010.  As of December 31, 2012, all proceeds have been utilized for capital project spending at our McIntosh, AL facility.

In September 2010, we redeemed industrial revenue bonds totaling $18.9 million, with maturity dates of February 2016 and March 2016.  We paid a premium of $0.4 million to the bond holders, which was included in interest expense.  We also recognized a $0.3 million deferred gain in interest expense related to the interest rate swaps, which were terminated in April 2010, on these industrial revenue bonds.  In October 2010, we redeemed additional industrial revenue bonds totaling $1.8 million, with a maturity date of October 2014.

During 2012, we paid $18.5 million for the earn out related to the 2011 SunBelt performance.  The 2011 earn out payment included $15.3 million that was recognized as part of the original purchase price.  The $15.3 million is included as a financing activity in the statement of cash flows.

In 2012, 2011 and 2010, we issued 0.1 million; 0.5 million; and 0.2 million shares with a total value of $1.4 million, $9.3 million and $3.1 million, respectively, representing stock options exercised.  In addition, during 2012, 2011 and 2010, we issued zero; zero; and 0.6 million shares of common stock, respectively, with a total value of zero, zero and $10.2 million, respectively, to the Olin CEOP.  Effective September 23, 2010, our CEOP began to purchase shares in the open market in lieu of our issuing shares to satisfy the investment in our common stock resulting from employee contributions, our matching contributions, retirement contributions and re-invested dividends.  Effective February 1, 2011, we reinstated the match on all salaried and certain non-bargained hourly employees’ contributions, which had previously been suspended effective January 1, 2010.

We purchased and retired 0.2 million shares in 2012 and 2011, with a total value of $3.1 million and $4.2 million, respectively, under the share repurchase program approved by our board of directors on July 21, 2011.

The percent of total debt to total capitalization increased to 41.7% at December 31, 2012, from 35.2% at year-end 2011 and 37.4% at year-end 2010.  The 2012 increase was primarily due to a higher level of long-term debt at December 31, 2012 resulting from the issuance of the 2022 Notes. The 2011 decrease from 2010 was due primarily to higher shareholders’ equity resulting from the net income for the year ended December 31, 2011, partially offset by a higher level of long-term debt at December 31, 2011. 

Dividends per common share were $0.80 in 2012, 2011 and 2010.  Total dividends paid on common stock amounted to $64.1 million, $64.0 million and $63.3 million in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.  On January 25, 2013, our board of directors declared a dividend of $0.20 per share on our common stock, payable on March 11, 2013 to shareholders of record on February 11, 2013.

The payment of cash dividends is subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will be determined in light of then-current conditions, including our earnings, our operations, our financial condition, our capital requirements and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.  In the future, our board of directors may change our dividend policy, including the frequency or amount of any dividend, in light of then-existing conditions.

LIQUIDITY AND OTHER FINANCING ARRANGEMENTS

Our principal sources of liquidity are from cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, cash flow from operations, and short-term borrowings under our senior revolving credit facility.  Additionally, we believe that we have access to the debt and equity markets.


41



Cash flow from operations is variable as a result of both the seasonal and the cyclical nature of our operating results, which have been affected by seasonal and economic cycles in many of the industries we serve, such as the vinyls, urethanes, bleach, ammunition and pulp and paper.  The seasonality of the ammunition business, which is typically driven by the fall hunting season, and the seasonality of the vinyls and bleach businesses, which are stronger in periods of warmer weather, typically cause working capital to fluctuate between $50 million to $100 million over the course of the year.  Cash flow from operations is affected by changes in ECU selling prices caused by the changes in the supply/demand balance of chlorine and caustic soda, resulting in the chlor alkali business having significant leverage on our earnings and cash flow.  For example, assuming all other costs remain constant and internal consumption remains approximately the same, a $10 per ECU selling price change equates to an approximate $15 million annual change in our revenues and pretax profit when we are operating at full capacity.

For 2012, cash provided by operating activities increased by $63.3 million from 2011, primarily due to higher earnings and a decrease in working capital in 2012.  For 2012, working capital decreased $18.4 million compared to an increase of $22.0 million in 2011.  The decrease in 2012 was primarily due to decreased inventories of $17.9 million, primarily at Winchester. The 2012 cash from operations was also impacted by a $13.1 million decrease in cash tax payments.

Capital spending was $255.7 million, $200.9 million, and $85.3 million in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.  Capital spending for 2012 and 2011 included $108.1 million and $60.0 million, respectively, for the conversion of our Charleston, TN facility from mercury cell technology to membrane technology and $58.6 million and $20.4 million, respectively, for the construction of low salt, high strength bleach facilities at our McIntosh, AL, Henderson, NV and Niagara Falls, NY chlor alkali sites.  Capital spending for 2012 and 2011 also included $16.1 million and $51.0 million, respectively, for our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations. The capital spending for the ongoing Winchester relocation was partially financed by $31 million of grants provided by the State of Mississippi and local governments.  The full amounts of these grants were received in 2011.  Capital spending in 2010 included bleach manufacturing and bleach shipping by railroad expansion projects at three of our Chlor Alkali facilities.  Capital spending was 245%, 206%, and 100% of depreciation in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

The conversion of our Charleston, TN facility was completed in the second half of 2012 with the successful start-up of two new membrane cell lines. We also completed low salt, high strength bleach facilities at McIntosh, AL and Niagara Falls, NY in the first and third quarters of 2012, respectively, and expect the remaining low salt, high strength facility at Henderson, NV to be completed during the first quarter of 2013. These three new facilities will increase total bleach manufacturing capacity by an additional 50% over 2011 capacity. These low salt, high strength bleach facilities manufacture bleach with approximately twice the concentration, which should significantly reduce transportation costs.

In 2013, we expect our capital spending to be in the $100 million to $130 million range, which includes spending for a low salt high strength bleach facility and a hydrochloric acid expansion project at our Henderson, NV chlor alkali site and spending for our ongoing relocation of Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations. We expect the Henderson, NV projects to be completed during the first half of 2013.

The overall use of cash of $139.6 million in 2012 primarily reflects the acquisition of KA Steel and capital spending for the conversion of our Charleston, TN facility, our low salt, high strength bleach facilities, and our ongoing relocation of our Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations, partially offset by the proceeds from the issuance of the 2022 Notes.  Based on our December 31, 2012 unrestricted cash balance of $165.2 million, the restricted cash balance of $11.9 million, and the availability of approximately $233.3 million of liquidity from our senior revolving credit facility, we believe we have sufficient liquidity to meet our short-term and long-term needs.  Additionally, we believe that we have access to the debt and equity markets.

On July 21, 2011, our board of directors authorized a share repurchase program for up to 5 million shares of common stock that will terminate in three years for any remaining shares not yet repurchased.  We purchased and retired 0.2 million shares in 2012 and 2011 under this program, at a cost of $3.1 million and $4.2 million, respectively.  As of December 31, 2012, we had purchased a total of 0.4 million shares under this program and 4.6 million shares remained authorized to be purchased.  The repurchases will be effected from time to time on the open market, or in privately negotiated transactions.

In August 2012, we sold $200.0 million of 2022 Notes with a maturity date of August 15, 2022. The 2022 Notes were issued at par value. Interest will be paid semi-annually beginning on February 15, 2013. The acquisition of KA Steel was partially financed with proceeds of $196.0 million, after expenses of $4.0 million, from these 2022 Notes.


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In June 2012, we redeemed industrial revenue bonds totaling $7.7 million with a maturity date of 2017. We paid a premium of $0.2 million to the bond holders, which was included in interest expense. We also recognized a $0.2 million deferred gain in interest expense related to the interest rate swap, which was terminated in March 2012, on these industrial revenue bonds.

Pursuant to a note purchase agreement dated December 22, 1997, SunBelt sold $97.5 million of Guaranteed Senior Secured Notes due 2017, Series O, and $97.5 million of Guaranteed Senior Secured Notes due 2017, Series G.  We refer to these notes as the SunBelt Notes.  The SunBelt Notes bear interest at a rate of 7.23% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on each June 22 and December 22.  Beginning on December 22, 2002 and each year through 2017, SunBelt is required to repay $12.2 million of the SunBelt Notes, of which $6.1 million is attributable to the Series O Notes and of which $6.1 million is attributable to the Series G Notes.  In conjunction with the SunBelt acquisition, we consolidated the SunBelt Notes with a fair value of $87.3 million for the remaining principal balance of $85.3 million as of February 28, 2011.  In December 2012 and 2011, $12.2 million was repaid on these SunBelt Notes.

In December 2011, we repaid the $75.0 million 2011 Notes, which became due in 2011.

In December 2010, we completed a financing of Recovery Zone tax-exempt bonds totaling $41.0 million due 2035.  The bonds were issued by the Industrial Development Board of the County of Bradley and the City of Cleveland, TN (TN Authority) pursuant to a trust indenture between the TN Authority and U. S. Bank National Association, as trustee.  The bonds were sold to PNC Bank, National Association (PNC Bank), as administrative agent for itself and a syndicate of participating banks, in a private placement under a Credit and Funding Agreement dated December 27, 2010, between us and PNC Bank.  Proceeds of the bonds were loaned by the TN Authority to us under a loan agreement, whereby we are obligated to make loan payments to the TN Authority sufficient to pay all debt service and expenses related to the bonds.  Our obligations under the loan agreement and related note bear interest at a fluctuating rate based on London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR).  The financial covenants in the credit agreement mirror those in our senior revolving credit facility.  The bonds may be tendered to us (without premium) periodically beginning November 1, 2015.  During December 2010, we drew $41.0 million of the bonds.  The proceeds from the bonds are required to be used to fund capital project spending for our Charleston, TN facility mercury cell conversion and were fully utilized as of December 31, 2012.

In December 2010, we completed a financing of Recovery Zone tax-exempt bonds totaling $42.0 million due 2033.  The bonds were issued by the Mississippi Business Finance Corporation (MS Finance) pursuant to a trust indenture between MS Finance and U. S. Bank National Association, as trustee.  The bonds were sold to PNC Bank as administrative agent for itself and a syndicate of participating banks, in a private placement under a Credit and Funding Agreement dated December 1, 2010, between us and PNC Bank.  Proceeds of the bonds were loaned by MS Finance to us under a loan agreement, whereby we are obligated to make loan payments to MS Finance sufficient to pay all debt service and expenses related to the bonds.  Our obligations under the loan agreement and related note bear interest at a fluctuating rate based on LIBOR.  The financial covenants in the credit agreement mirror those in our senior revolving credit facility.  The bonds may be tendered to us (without premium) periodically beginning November 1, 2015.  During December 2010, we drew $42.0 million of the bonds.  The proceeds from the bonds are required to be used to fund capital project spending for our ongoing relocation of the Winchester centerfire ammunition manufacturing operations from East Alton, IL to Oxford, MS.  As of December 31, 2012, $11.9 million of the proceeds remain with the trustee and are classified as a noncurrent asset on our consolidated balance sheet as restricted cash, until such time as we request reimbursement of qualifying amounts used for the Oxford, MS Winchester relocation.

In October 2010, we completed a financing of tax-exempt bonds totaling $70.0 million due 2024.  The bonds include $50.0 million of Go Zone and $20.0 million of Recovery Zone.  The bonds were issued by the Industrial Development Authority of Washington County, AL (AL Authority) pursuant to a trust indenture between the AL Authority and U. S. Bank National Association, as trustee.  The bonds were sold to PNC Bank as administrative agent for itself and a syndicate of participating banks, in a private placement under a Credit and Funding Agreement dated October 14, 2010, between us and PNC Bank.  Proceeds of the bonds were loaned by the AL Authority to us under a loan agreement, whereby we are obligated to make loan payments to the AL Authority sufficient to pay all debt service and expenses related to the bonds.  Our obligations under the loan agreement and related note bear interest at a fluctuating rate based on LIBOR.  The financial covenants in the credit agreement mirror those in our senior revolving credit facility.  The bonds may be tendered to us (without premium) periodically beginning November 1, 2015.  We had the option to borrow up to the entire $70.0 million in a series of draw downs through December 31, 2011.  We drew $36.0 million of the bonds in 2011 and $34.0 million in 2010.  The proceeds from the bonds are required to be used to fund capital project spending at our McIntosh, AL facility and were fully utilized as of December 31, 2012.


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In September 2010, we redeemed industrial revenue bonds totaling $18.9 million, with maturity dates of February 2016 and March 2016.  We paid a premium of $0.4 million to the bond holders, which was included in interest expense.  We also recognized a $0.3 million deferred gain in interest expense related to the interest rate swaps, which were terminated in April 2010, on these industrial revenue bonds.  In October 2010, we redeemed additional industrial revenue bonds totaling $1.8 million, with a maturity date of October 2014.

On April 27, 2012, we entered into a new $265 million five-year senior revolving credit facility, which replaced the $240 million senior revolving credit facility and a $25 million letter of credit facility. The new senior revolving credit facility will expire in April, 2017. At December 31, 2012, we had $233.3 million available under our $265 million senior revolving credit facility, because we had issued $31.7 million of letters of credit under a $110 million subfacility. The new senior revolving credit facility also has a $50 million Canadian subfacility.  Under the senior revolving credit facility, we may select various floating rate borrowing options.  The actual interest rate paid on borrowings under the senior revolving credit facility is based on a pricing grid which is dependent upon the leverage ratio as calculated under the terms of the facility at the end of the prior fiscal quarter.  The facility includes various customary restrictive covenants, including restrictions related to the ratio of debt to earnings before interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization (leverage ratio) and the ratio of earnings before interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization to interest expense (coverage ratio).  Compliance with these covenants is determined quarterly based on the operating cash flows for the last four quarters.  We were in compliance with all covenants and restrictions under all our outstanding credit agreements as of December 31, 2012 and 2011, and no event of default had occurred that would permit the lenders under our outstanding credit agreements to accelerate the debt if not cured.  In the future, our ability to generate sufficient operating cash flows, among other factors, will determine the amounts available to be borrowed under these facilities.  As of December 31, 2012, there were no covenants or other restrictions that limited our ability to borrow.

At December 31, 2012, we had total letters of credit of $35.8 million outstanding, of which $31.7 million were issued under our $265 million senior revolving credit facility.  The letters of credit were used to support certain long-term debt, certain workers compensation insurance policies, and certain international pension funding requirements.

Our current debt structure is used to fund our business operations.  As of December 31, 2012, we had long-term borrowings, including the current installment, of $713.7 million, of which $155.9 million was at variable rates.  Annual maturities of long-term debt are $23.6 million in 2013, $12.2 million in 2014, $12.2 million in 2015, $145.6 million in 2016, $15.1 million in 2017 and a total of $505.0 million thereafter.  Commitments from banks under our senior revolving credit facility are an additional source of liquidity.

In June 2012, we terminated $73.1 million of interest rate swaps with Wells Fargo that had been entered into on the SunBelt Notes in May 2011. The result was a gain of $2.2 million which will be recognized through 2017. As of December 31, 2012, $1.8 million of this gain was included in long-term debt. In March 2012, Citibank terminated $7.7 million of interest rate swaps on our industrial development and environmental improvement tax-exempt bonds due in 2017. The result was a gain of $0.2 million, which would have been recognized through 2017. In June 2012, the industrial revenue bonds were redeemed by us, and as a result, the remaining $0.2 million deferred gain was recognized in interest expense during 2012. In April 2010, Citibank terminated $18.9 million of interest rate swaps on our industrial revenue bonds due in 2016.  The result was a gain of $0.4 million, which would have been recognized through 2016.  In September 2010, the industrial revenue bonds were redeemed by us, and as a result, the remaining $0.3 million gain was recognized in interest expense during 2010.

In March 2010, we entered into interest rate swaps on $125 million of our underlying fixed-rate debt obligations, whereby we agreed to pay variable rates to a counterparty who, in turn, pays us fixed rates.  The counterparty to these agreements is Citibank, a major financial institution.  In October 2011, we entered into $125 million of interest rate swaps with equal and opposite terms as the $125 million variable interest rate swaps on the 6.75% senior notes due 2016 (2016 Notes).  We have agreed to pay a fixed rate to a counterparty who, in turn, pays us variable rates.  The counterparty to this agreement is also Citibank.  The result was a gain of $11.0 million on the $125 million variable interest rate swaps, which will be recognized through 2016.  As of December 31, 2012, $8.4 million of this gain was included in long-term debt.  In October 2011, we de-designated our $125 million interest rate swaps that had previously been designated as fair value hedges.  The $125 million variable interest rate swaps and the $125 million fixed interest rate swaps do not meet the criteria for hedge accounting.  All changes in the fair value of these interest rate swaps are recorded currently in earnings.


44



In 2001 and 2002, we entered into interest rate swaps on $75 million of our underlying fixed-rate debt obligations, whereby we agreed to pay variable rates to a counterparty who, in turn, pays us fixed rates.  The counterparty to these agreements was Citibank.  In January 2009, we entered into a $75 million fixed interest rate swap with equal and opposite terms as the $75 million variable interest rate swaps on the 2011 Notes.  We agreed to pay a fixed rate to a counterparty who, in turn, paid us variable rates.  The counterparty to this agreement was Bank of America, N.A. (Bank of America), a major financial institution.  The result was a gain of $7.9 million on the $75 million variable interest rate swaps, which was recognized through 2011.  In January 2009, we de-designated our $75 million interest rate swaps that had previously been designated as fair value hedges.  The $75 million variable interest rate swaps and the $75 million fixed interest rate swap did not meet the criteria for hedge accounting.  All changes in the fair value of these interest rate swaps were recorded currently in earnings.

We have registered an undetermined amount of securities with the SEC, so that, from time-to-time, we may issue debt securities, preferred stock and/or common stock and associated warrants in the public market under that registration statement.

OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

Our operating lease commitments are primarily for railroad cars but also include distribution, warehousing and office space and data processing and office equipment.  Virtually none of our lease agreements contain escalation clauses or step rent provisions.  Assets under capital leases are not significant.

In conjunction with the St. Gabriel, LA conversion and expansion project, which was completed in the fourth quarter of 2009, we entered into a twenty-year brine and pipeline supply agreement with PetroLogistics Olefins, LLC (PetroLogistics).  PetroLogistics installed, owns and operates, at its own expense, a pipeline supplying brine to the St. Gabriel, LA facility.  Beginning November 2009, we are obligated to make a fixed annual payment over the life of the contract of $2.0 million for use of the pipeline, regardless of the amount of brine purchased.  We also have a minimum usage requirement for brine of $8.4 million over the first five-year period of the contract.  We have met or exceeded the minimum brine usage requirements since the inception of the contract. After the first five-year period, the contract contains a buy out provision exercisable by us for $12.0 million.

Our long-term contractual commitments, including the on and off-balance sheet arrangements, consisted of the following:

 
Payments Due by Period
Contractual Obligations
Total
 
Less than
1 Year
 
1-3
Years
 
3-5
Years
 
More than
5 Years
 
($ in millions)
Debt obligations
$
713.7

 
$
23.6

 
$
24.4

 
$
160.7

 
$
505.0

Interest payments under debt obligations and interest rate swap agreements(a)
273.0

 
37.4

 
72.1

 
59.3

 
104.2

Contingent tax liability
41.8

 
11.0

 
7.1

 
2.5

 
21.2

Qualified pension plan contributions(b)
1.0

 
1.0

 

 

 

Non-qualified pension plan payments
66.2

 
6.2

 
17.8

 
10.3

 
31.9

Postretirement benefit payments
67.8

 
6.0

 
11.5

 
10.7

 
39.6

Off-Balance Sheet Commitments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Noncancelable operating leases
268.9

 
54.7

 
86.9

 
60.5

 
66.8

Purchasing commitments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Raw materials
98.1

 
62.3

 
35.5

 
0.3

 

Capital expenditures
13.7

 
13.7

 

 

 

Utilities
1.5

 
1.1

 
0.3

 
0.1

 

Total
$
1,545.7

 
$
217.0

 
$
255.6

 
$
304.4

 
$
768.7


(a)
For the purposes of this table, we have assumed for all periods presented that there are no changes in the principal amount of any variable rate debt from the amounts outstanding on December 31, 2012 and that there are no changes in the rates from those in effect at December 31, 2012 which ranged from 0.26% to 8.875%.

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(b)
These amounts are only estimated payments assuming an annual expected rate of return on pension plan assets of 8.0%, and a discount rate on pension plan obligations of 3.9%.  These estimated payments are subject to significant variation and the actual payments may be more than the amounts estimated.  Given the inherent uncertainty as to actual minimum funding requirements for qualified defined benefit pension plans, no amounts are included in this table for any period beyond one year.  Based on the current funding requirements, we will not be required to make any cash contributions to the domestic defined benefit pension plan at least through 2013.  We do have a small Canadian defined benefit pension plan to which we made $0.9 million of cash contributions in 2012 and 2011 and we anticipate less than $5 million of cash contributions in 2013.  See discussion on “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” in “Pension Plans” in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 8.

Non-cancelable operating leases and purchasing commitments are utilized in our normal course of business for our projected needs.  For losses that we believe are probable and which are estimable, we have accrued for such amounts in our consolidated balance sheets.  In addition to the table above, we have various commitments and contingencies including: defined benefit and postretirement healthcare plans (as described below), environmental matters (see “Environmental Matters” included in Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”), and litigation claims (see Item 3—“Legal Proceedings”).

We have several defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans, as described in the “Pension Plans” note in notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 8.  We fund the defined benefit pension plans based on the minimum amounts required by law plus such amounts we deem appropriate.  We have postretirement healthcare plans that provide health and life insurance benefits to certain retired employees and their beneficiaries, as described in the “Postretirement Benefits” note in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 8.  These other postretirement plans are not pre-funded and expenses are paid by us as incurred.

We also have standby letters of credit of $35.8 million of which $31.7 million have been issued through our senior revolving credit facility.  At December 31, 2012, we had $233.3 million available under our senior revolving credit facility.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.  The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, sales and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities.  Significant estimates in our consolidated financial statements include goodwill recoverability, environmental, restructuring and other unusual items, litigation, income tax reserves including deferred tax asset valuation allowances, pension, postretirement and other benefits and allowance for doubtful accounts.  We base our estimates on prior experience, facts and circumstances and other assumptions.  Actual results may differ from these estimates.

We believe the following critical accounting policies affect the more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements.

Goodwill

Goodwill is not amortized, but is reviewed for impairment annually in the fourth quarter and/or when circumstances or other events indicate that impairment may have occurred.  On January 1, 2012, we adopted Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2011-08 “Testing Goodwill for Impairment” (ASU 2011-08), which permits entities to make a qualitative assessment of whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit’s fair value is less than its carrying amount before applying the two-step goodwill impairment test. Circumstances that could trigger an impairment test and are considered as part of the qualitative assessment that could trigger the two-step impairment test include, but are not limited to:  a significant adverse change in the business climate; a significant adverse legal judgment; adverse cash flow trends; an adverse action or assessment by a government agency; unanticipated competition; decline in our stock price; and a significant restructuring charge within a reporting unit.  We define reporting units at the business segment level or one level below the business segment, which for our Chlor Alkali Products segment are the U.S. operations and Canadian operations.  For purposes of testing goodwill for impairment, goodwill has been allocated to these reporting units to the extent it relates to each reporting unit. Based upon our qualitative assessment, it is more likely than not that the fair value of our reporting units are greater than their carrying amounts as of December 31, 2012.  No impairment charges were recorded for 2012, 2011 or 2010.

In 2011 and 2010, prior to the adoption of ASU 2011-08, we used a discounted cash flow approach to develop the estimated fair value of a reporting unit.  Management judgment was required in developing the assumptions for the discounted cash flow model.  We also corroborated our discounted cash flow analysis by evaluating a market-based approach that considers earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) multiples from a representative sample of comparable public companies in the chemical industry.  An impairment would be recorded if the carrying amount exceeded the estimated fair value.

The discount rate, profitability assumptions, terminal growth rate and cyclical nature of our chlor alkali business were the material assumptions utilized in the discounted cash flow model used to estimate the fair value of each reporting unit.  The discount rate reflected a weighted-average cost of capital, which was calculated based on observable market data.  Some of these data (such as the risk free or treasury rate and the pretax cost of debt) were based on the market data at a point in time.  Other data (such as the equity risk premium) were based upon market data over time for a peer group of companies in the chemical manufacturing industry with a market capitalization premium added, as applicable.


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The discounted cash flow analysis required estimates, assumptions and judgments about future events.  Our analysis used our internally generated long-range plan.  Our discounted cash flow analysis used the assumptions in our long-range plan about terminal growth rates, forecasted capital expenditures, and changes in future working capital requirements to determine the implied fair value of each reporting unit.  The long-range plan reflects management judgment, supplemented by independent chemical industry analyses which provide multi-year chlor alkali industry operating and pricing forecasts.

We believe the assumptions used in our goodwill impairment analysis are appropriate and result in reasonable estimates of the implied fair value of each reporting unit.  However, given the economic environment and the uncertainties regarding the impact on our business, there can be no assurance that our estimates and assumptions, made for purposes of our goodwill impairment testing, will prove to be an accurate prediction of the future.  If our assumptions regarding future performance are not achieved, we may be required to record goodwill impairment charges in future periods.  It is not possible at this time to determine if any such future impairment charge would result or, if it does, whether such charge would be material.

Environmental

Accruals (charges to income) for environmental matters are recorded when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated, based upon current law and existing technologies.  These amounts, which are not discounted and are exclusive of claims against third parties, are adjusted periodically as assessments and remediation efforts progress or additional technical or legal information becomes available.  Environmental costs are capitalized if the costs increase the value of the property and/or mitigate or prevent contamination from future operations.  Environmental costs and recoveries are included in costs of goods sold.

Environmental exposures are difficult to assess for numerous reasons, including the identification of new sites, developments at sites resulting from investigatory studies, advances in technology, changes in environmental laws and regulations and their application, changes in regulatory authorities, the scarcity of reliable data pertaining to identified sites, the difficulty in assessing the involvement and financial capability of other PRPs and our ability to obtain contributions from other parties and the lengthy time periods over which site remediation occurs.  It is possible that some of these matters (the outcomes of which are subject to various uncertainties) may be resolved unfavorably to us, which could materially adversely affect our financial position, cash flows or results of operations.

Pension and Postretirement Plans

We account for our defined benefit pension plans and non-pension postretirement benefit plans using actuarial models required by ASC 715.  These models use an attribution approach that generally spreads the financial impact of changes to the plan and actuarial assumptions over the average remaining service lives of the employees in the plan.  Changes in liability due to changes in actuarial assumptions such as discount rate, rate of compensation increases and mortality, as well as annual deviations between what was assumed and what was experienced by the plan are treated as gains or losses.  The principle underlying the required attribution approach is that employees render service over their average remaining service lives on a relatively smooth basis and, therefore, the accounting for benefits earned under the pension or non-pension postretirement benefits plans should follow the same relatively smooth pattern.  Substantially all defined benefit pension plan participants are no longer accruing benefits; therefore, actuarial gains and losses are amortized based upon the remaining life expectancy of the inactive plan participants.  For the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, the average remaining life expectancy of the inactive participants in the defined benefit pension plan was 18 years.

One of the key assumptions for the net periodic pension calculation is the expected long-term rate of return on plan assets, used to determine the “market-related value of assets.”  (The “market-related value of assets” recognizes differences between the plan’s actual return and expected return over a five year period).  The required use of an expected long-term rate of return on the market-related value of plan assets may result in recognized pension income that is greater or less than the actual returns of those plan assets in any given year.  Over time, however, the expected long-term returns are designed to approximate the actual long-term returns and, therefore, result in a pattern of income and expense recognition that more closely matches the pattern of the services provided by the employees.  As differences between actual and expected returns are recognized over five years, they subsequently generate gains and losses that are subject to amortization over the average remaining life expectancy of the inactive plan participants, as described in the preceding paragraph.

We use long-term historical actual return information, the mix of investments that comprise plan assets, and future estimates of long-term investment returns and inflation by reference to external sources to develop the expected long-term rate of return on plan assets as of December 31.


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The discount rate assumptions used for pension and non-pension postretirement benefit plan accounting reflect the rates available on high-quality fixed-income debt instruments on December 31 of each year.  The rate of compensation increase is based upon our long-term plans for such increases.  For retiree medical plan accounting, we review external data and our own historical trends for healthcare costs to determine the healthcare cost trend rates.

Changes in pension costs may occur in the future due to changes in these assumptions resulting from economic events.  For example, holding all other assumptions constant, a 100-basis point decrease or increase in the assumed long-term rate of return on plan assets would have decreased or increased, respectively, the 2012 defined benefit pension plan income by approximately $16.8 million.  Holding all other assumptions constant, a 50-basis point decrease in the discount rate used to calculate pension income for 2012 and the projected benefit obligation as of December 31, 2012 would have decreased pension income by $0.4 million and increased the projected benefit obligation by $114.0 million.  A 50-basis point increase in the discount rate used to calculate pension income for 2012 and the projected benefit obligation as of December 31, 2012 would have increased pension income by $1.5 million and decreased the projected benefit obligation by $112.0 million.  For additional information on long-term rates of return, discount rates and projected healthcare costs projections, see “Pension Plans” and “Postretirement Benefits” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.

NEW ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS

In February 2013, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued ASU 2013-02, which amends ASC 220.  This update adds new disclosure requirements about reclassifications out of accumulated other comprehensive income including the effects of these reclassifications on net income. This update is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2012 with early adoption permitted.  This update will not have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements.

In July 2012, the FASB issued ASU 2012-02 “Testing Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets for Impairment” (ASU 2011-02) which amends ASC 350 “Intangibles – Goodwill and Other” (ASC 350).  This update permits entities to make a qualitative assessment of whether it is more likely than not that an indefinite-lived intangible asset’s fair value is less than its carrying amount before performing a quantitative impairment test.  If an entity concludes that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of the indefinite-lived in