April 23, 2009 / 1:06 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Nova Chemicals reports big Q1 loss

* Q1 adjusted loss $1.31/shr vs EPS $0.88 year ago

* Revenue falls 57 percent (Adds details. In U.S. dollars unless noted)

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Nova Chemicals Corp NCX.TO, which is being taken over by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co, said on Thursday it sank to a net loss in the first quarter as demand for its raw plastics remained weak amid the global recession.

Nova, whose shareholders have approved the $500 million takeover, lost an adjusted $123 million, or $1.48 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $52 million, or 63 cents a share.

Excluding unusual items, Nova lost $109 million, or $1.31 a share, down from net income of $73 million, or 88 cents a share, a year earlier.

The company had been expected to lose 12 cents a share, the average forecast among analysts surveyed by Reuters Estimates.

Revenue fell 57 percent to $818 million from $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2008.

“Market conditions and the Alberta Advantage improved month-to-month, leading to a solid March,” Chris Pappas, Nova Chemicals president and chief executive, said in a statement, referring to Nova’s plants in the western Canadian province of Alberta, which it says give it lower ethane feedstock costs.

The shares closed up 3 Canadian cents at C$7.28 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The New York-listed stock rose 2 cents to $5.89.

IPIC has offered $6 per share in the deal, which ended Nova’s months of struggles to meet its debt obligations.

$1=$1.24 Canadian Reporting by Andrea Hopkins

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