DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) reported second-quarter 2018 results Thursday before markets opened. The conglomerate posted adjusted operating earnings per share (EPS) of $1.37 on revenue of $24.2 billion. In the second quarter of 2017, the company reported pro forma EPS of $0.97 on revenue of $13.83 billion. Consensus estimates had called for EPS of $1.30 and revenues of $23.6 billion in the latest period.
Net sales rose 17% year over year, with agriculture division sales up 25%, material sciences division sales up 18% and specialty products sales up 10%. Net after-tax income from continuing operations rose 29% to $1.8 billion.
DowDuPont posted cost synergy savings of more than $375 million in the quarter, reaching cumulative savings of nearly $900 million since the merger closed last year. The company now expects to achieve year-over-year savings of $1.4 billion in 2018, an increase of more than 15% from its prior target.
CEO Ed Breen said:
We continued to deliver strong results in the second quarter, including double-digit gains in sales and operating EBITDA. Volume growth, local price gains and operating margin expansion were the key highlights, reflecting a clear focus from the businesses on execution. Our new product launches are resonating with customers, resulting in strong demand across each of our targeted end-markets. These are indicators that our three divisions are making a difference in the marketplace and for shareholders.
CFO Howard Ungerleider commented on the company’s outlook:
Leading indicators, such as manufacturing output, employment, wages and consumer spending remain largely constructive, supporting increased global economic activity. We see some discrete headwinds, most notably currency fluctuations, particularly in Agriculture, and higher raw materials costs in all three divisions. Looking ahead, we continue to expect above-market growth through much of DowDuPont’s business portfolio, driven by our innovations, growth investments, geographic reach and leading market positions. We expect third quarter net sales to be up more than 10 percent and operating EBITDA up more than 12 percent year-over-year.
The consensus analysts’ estimate calls for third-quarter EPS of $0.77 and revenue of $19.53 billion. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $4.17 and revenue of $85.52 billion. The revenue estimate reflects growth of 7.5%, less than the company’s 10% growth forecast.
Shares traded up about 0.4% Thursday morning to $68.25, after closing at $67.96 on Wednesday, down 1.2% for the day and in a 52-week range of $61.27 to $77.08. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock was $81.78 before this morning’s earnings release.