Dow Sales, Earnings Jump

MIDLAND — Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) Wednesday reported net income of $852 million or 71 cents a share in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $594 million or 49 cents a share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue in the quarter was $14.4 billion, up from $13.7 billion a year earlier.

For the nine months, net income was $2.7 billion or $2.24 a share, down from $3.5 billion or $2.88 a share a year earlier. Revenue for the nine months was $43.8 billion, up from $42.7 billion a year earlier.

The main reason for the decline in earnings in the nine months was $2.1 bllion in “sundry income” in the 2013 period — mostly, gains from the settlement of a lawsuit over an aborted joint venture in Kuwait.

Dow reported price increases caused by tightening demand conditions in key regions, with gains in most operating segments. Sales gains were led by performance plastics (up 9 percent) and performanc materials (up 8 percent).

Dow also reported sales increases in all geographic areas, with a 4 percent increase in the developed world, led by a 7 percent gain in North America. Sales in the developing world rose 6 percent, due primarily to gorwth in performance plastics in Latin America.

Performance plastics reported a 31 percent gain in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Performance materials EBITDA grew even faster, 61 percent.

Dow reported an operating rate of 88 percent, up 6 percent versus the same quarter last year, driven primarily by productivity improvements in performance materials and feedstocks and energy.

Cash flow from operations was $1.8 billion for the quarter, and $3.7 billion year-to-date. Dow rewarded shareholders with $1.3 billion in declared dividends and $3.1 billion in share repurchases year to date.

“Dow delivered a strong quarter of top- and bottom-line growth,” Dow chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris said in a statement. “Our low-cost positions and geographic diversification enabled growth and improving operating rates in the quarter. Record EBITDA in performance plastics and electronic and functional materials, coupled with significant improvement in performance materials again this quarter, demonstrates the value of our strategy to be low cost and fully integrated in key products while adding value through technology in key markets. We continued to achieve major milestones in agricultural sciences — such as the recently announced regulatory approvals for our Enlist Weed Control System — despite lower crop prices in a seasonally weak quarter.”

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