Dow Chemical Co. profit surges 65 percent in Q1

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Dow Chemical Co. reported a 65 percent growth in first-quarter profit amid modest increase in revenue and lower expenses.

Profit was $1.05bn, or 79 cents per share, compared with $635mn, or 46 cents per share, a year ago, the company said. Stripping of debt-extinguishment charges, impact of restructuring and other items, year-ago adjusted earnings stood at 69 cents. Revenue jumped 0.5 percent to $14.46bn.

Analysts projected per-share profit of 71 cents and revenue of $14.72bn.

The rise in first-quarter sales was boosted by Dow’s performance plastics division, which grew 3 percent due to price increases. Without divestiture-related impacts, the growth was 6 percent. Expenses for research-and-development declined 10 percent. Gross margin surged to 18.9 percent from 18.6 percent.

Third Point’s activist investor Daniel Loeb has been urging Dow to spin off its petrochemicals business from units that produce specialty chemicals for food, agriculture, electronics and pharmaceuticals. However, Dow said overall operations and shareholder value would suffer if the company breaks up.

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