Dow Chemical Offers Earnings Beat Despite Weather Issues

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Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) reported first-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Wednesday. The diversified chemicals company posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.79 on revenues of $14.46 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.69 on revenues of $14.38 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.71 and $14.72 billion in revenues.

Its Performance Plastics unit saw sales gains of 6% due to higher prices, while higher volumes in Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions led to a 5% increase in sales. The company also cited strong growth in China.

The company’s CEO said:

We achieved margin expansion in all of our key business operating segments — despite a series of weather- and transport-related issues in North America. … Our financial priorities are firmly institutionalized, and we continued to increase cash flow and further improved return on capital. Additionally, we increased our dividend and completed $1.25 billion in share repurchases in the first quarter alone.

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Competitor E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE: DD), commonly known as DuPont, last week reported first-quarter results that fell short of consensus estimates, in part due to inclement weather.

Dow Chemical did not offer specific guidance, but consensus forecasts so far call for EPS of $0.83 and revenue of $15.08 billion in the current quarter, as well as $2.92 per share and $58.99 billion for the full year.

Dow Chemical shares were inactive in premarket trading, after ending Tuesday at $48.94 in a 52-week range of $31.00 to $50.96. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $50.50 before the report.

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