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Dow Reports Second Quarter Results

Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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Dow generates higher cash flow despite lower revenue, with a more than $400 million impact due to currency.

 Second Quarter 2012 Highlights

•    Dow reported earnings of $0.55 per share. This compares with earnings of $0.84 per share in the same quarter last year, or adjusted earnings of $0.85 per share(1).
•    Sales were $14.5 billion, down 10 percent, or 6 percent on an adjusted sales(2) basis. The decline was led by Europe, which decreased 10 percent, driven by adverse currency conditions totaling more than $400 million, or 8 percent. Sales in Agricultural Sciences grew 12 percent, achieving a new second quarter record.
•    Volume declined 5 percent, or 1 percent on an adjusted basis, as increasingly volatile economic conditions and related customer de-stocking occurred throughout most value chains. Volume increases were reported in Agricultural Sciences (up 10 percent) and Performance Plastics (up 3 percent), as well as in Asia Pacific (up 2 percent).
•    Price declined 5 percent, and purchased feedstock and energy costs decreased by nearly $1 billion versus the same quarter last year. Price declined in all geographic areas, led by Europe, which was down 8 percent.
•    EBITDA(3) was nearly $2 billion. Agricultural Sciences EBITDA reached a new record for the first half of the year, surpassing $750 million.
•    The Company’s operating rate was 78 percent for the quarter, down 6 percentage points versus the year-ago period, reflecting soft demand coupled with a high number of planned turnarounds. These turnarounds had an impact of approximately 3 percentage points on operating rate in the quarter.
•    Equity earnings were $148 million, versus $291 million in the year-ago period. The decline was due primarily to planned turnarounds at MEGlobal, as well as ongoing silicon value chain weakness for Dow Corning.
•    The Company made further progress against its commitments related to generating cash. Management interventions contributed to a nearly $700 million improvement in cash from operations in the quarter versus the year-ago period.
•    Net debt(4) to total capitalization declined to 40.4 percent, remaining on target to reach the Company’s year-end 2012 goal.
Comment

Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer, stated:

“Sustained uncertainty in the world economy continues to present a challenging operating environment, and this quarter was no exception. Weak demand due to a slowdown in global growth drove declining prices. This, coupled with an unusually high turnaround season for Dow and a large currency effect, pressured margins in the quarter. We have all of our pre-stated levers in place and are driving a full array of efficiency and cost reduction measures – tightly managing operations to generate cash flow improvements. Dow remains intensely focused on execution – maximizing our world-leading feedstock advantage, driving operating rate improvements in our integrated portfolio, tailoring growth investments to reflect macroeconomic realities, and ensuring prudent use of cash.”
                                  
Review of Second Quarter Results

The Dow Chemical Company  reported sales of $14.5 billion, down 10 percent, or 6 percent on an adjusted sales basis. The decline was led by Europe, where sales decreased 10 percent driven by adverse currency conditions totaling more than $400 million, or 8 percent. Sales in Agricultural Sciences grew 12 percent, achieving a new second quarter record.

Volume declined 5 percent, or 1 percent on an adjusted basis, as increasingly volatile economic conditions and related customer de-stocking occurred throughout most value chains. However, volume increases were reported in Agricultural Sciences (up 10 percent) and Performance Plastics (up 3 percent), as well as in Asia Pacific (up 2 percent).

Price declined 5 percent, and purchased feedstock and energy costs decreased by nearly $1 billion versus the same quarter last year. Price declined in all geographic areas, led by Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), which was down 8 percent.

The Company reported EBITDA of nearly $2 billion for the quarter. Agricultural Sciences EBITDA reached a new record for the first half of the year, surpassing $750 million.

Earnings for the quarter were $0.55 per share, compared with $0.84 per share or adjusted earnings of $0.85 per share in the same period last year.

Dow’s global operating rate was 78 percent for the quarter, down 6 percentage points versus the year-ago period, reflecting soft demand coupled with a high number of planned turnarounds in the quarter. These turnarounds had an impact of approximately 3 percentage points on operating rate in the quarter.

Research and Development (R&D) expenses declined 1 percent versus the same period last year, despite increased technology pipeline investments – primarily in Advanced Materials and Agricultural Sciences – as other cost-reduction initiatives took effect.

Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses declined 3 percent from the same period last year despite an increase in Agricultural Sciences, which was driven by new product launches and commercial activities.

Equity earnings were $148 million, versus $291 million in the year-ago period. The decline was due primarily to planned turnarounds at MEGlobal, as well as ongoing silicon value chain weakness for Dow Corning.

Net debt to total capitalization declined to 40.4 percent and remains on target to reach the Company’s year-end 2012 goal.

“Sustained uncertainty in the world economy continues to present a challenging operating environment, and this quarter was no exception,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Weak demand due to a slowdown in global growth drove declining prices. This, coupled with an usually high turnaround season for Dow and a large currency effect, pressured margins in the quarter. We have all of our pre-stated levers in place and are driving a full array of efficiency and cost reduction measures – tightly managing operations to generate cash flow improvements. Dow remains intensely focused on execution – maximizing our world-leading feedstock advantage, driving operating rate improvements in our integrated portfolio, tailoring growth investments to reflect macroeconomic realities, and ensuring prudent use of cash.”

Electronic and Functional Materials

Sales in Electronic and Functional Materials were $1.2 billion, down 4 percent from the same quarter last year as price and volume each declined 2 percent. Dow Electronic Materials reported sales declines across most businesses, largely due to continued soft demand in the electronics industry. However, the business reported broad-based volume gains in Semiconductor Technologies, partly driven by improving foundry utilization rates. Display Technologies reported significant revenue growth in organic light-emitting diode materials, however this was more than offset by declines in backlight film applications. Dow Electronic Materials recorded several key customer wins on advanced nodes for both memory and logic applications.

Functional Materials revenue declined overall, with mixed performance within its business units. Dow Microbial Control generated volume gains by focusing on energy and water applications, while gains in Dow Wolff Cellulosics were driven by pharmaceutical and food applications. Dow Home and Personal Care revenue was adversely impacted by weakening sales to global brand owners. Higher costs associated with turnarounds in Functional Materials dampened bottom-line results.

Equity earnings were $35 million, up from $25 million versus the year-ago period. EBITDA for the segment was $287 million, flat with the same period last year.

Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions

Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions sales were $1.9 billion, down 6 percent compared with the same period last year. Volume was flat versus the prior year, and price declined 6 percent.
Dow Water and Process Solutions reported record quarterly sales, driven by volume gains. Demand continued to be particularly strong in reverse osmosis membranes in industrial water applications. Sales declines in Dow Building and Construction were principally driven by volume contraction in Europe, where the business recently announced cost reduction actions to improve profitability in the region. Dow Coating Materials reported a decrease in sales as solid volume gains, driven by double-digit growth in North America, were offset by price declines. Weak demand in Asia for less differentiated epoxy-based products caused significant price erosion across all geographic areas. Dow Coating Materials’ hiding platform recorded several wins with EVOQUE™ technology as customers continue to reformulate paints to enhance performance and improve the efficiency of titanium dioxide usage.

Equity earnings were $45 million, down from $79 million in the same period last year. The decline was principally due to results at Dow Corning, which was adversely impacted by weakness in the silicon value chain. EBITDA for the segment was $337 million. This compares with EBITDA of $368 million in the year-ago period.

Agricultural Sciences

Agricultural Sciences posted record second quarter sales with revenue of $1.7 billion, up 12 percent versus the year-ago period. Volume increased 10 percent and price rose 2 percent. North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific all posted double-digit sales growth driven by customer adoption of new products and healthy agricultural market fundamentals. Agricultural Sciences set new first half sales records in both Crop Protection and Seeds, Traits and Oils (ST&O).

Second quarter sales of Crop Protection products rose 8 percent versus the prior year, driven by strong sales growth in North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Sales of new Crop Protection products grew 17 percent, led by gains in aminopyralid and pyroxsulam herbicides and spinetoram insecticide.

Seeds, Traits and Oils (ST&O) reported sales gains of more than 30 percent versus the year-ago period. Increased corn sales in North America and Latin America were a key driver of growth, with increased penetration of SmartStax® hybrids and Refuge Advanced® in North America, and further adoption of Herculex® technology in Latin America.

EBITDA for the segment was $307 million, compared with $287 million in the year-ago period. Agricultural Sciences set a new EBITDA record for the first six months of the year of $758 million, up 9 percent from the first half of 2011.

Performance Materials
Sales in Performance Materials were $3.4 billion, down 11 percent on an adjusted sales basis as volume declined 5 percent and price declined 6 percent. Volume declined in all geographic areas led by Latin America, primarily due to the shutdown of toluene diisocyanate capacity in Brazil.
Polyurethanes recorded demand growth in Asia Pacific driven by new propylene oxide capacity in Thailand. However, these gains were more than offset by price declines. Epoxy sales contracted in the quarter due to continued softness in allylics and phenolics, compared with record-level sales in the year-ago period. Dow Automotive Systems reported price increases in most geographic areas, partially offsetting demand declines in Latin America and EMEA.

Sales in Oxygenated Solvents were significantly impacted by supplier production issues in Asia Pacific, along with weak demand in coating and electronic end-markets. Polyglycols, Surfactants and Fluids reported price gains in North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America, as well as double-digit demand growth in Latin America. However, this was offset by weak demand in Asia Pacific. Dow Oil and Gas reported double-digit sales gains driven by strong sector fundamentals, particularly in North America due to continued shale gas dynamics.

EBITDA for the segment was $350 million, compared with EBITDA of $481 million in the year-ago period. The decline was primarily driven by soft demand coupled with lower market pricing levels and high turnaround activity versus the year ago period.

Performance Plastics

Sales in Performance Plastics were $3.7 billion, down 6 percent on an adjusted sales basis, as volume rose 3 percent and price declined 9 percent versus the year-ago period. Double-digit volume gains in Asia Pacific were more than offset by declining prices across all geographic areas.

Dow Elastomers achieved new first-half records for both sales and EBITDA. The business drove double-digit sales gains in Asia Pacific, Latin America and North America, which partially offset declines in EMEA.

Dow Electrical and Telecommunications sales grew versus the year-ago period, with double-digit revenue and volume gains in Asia Pacific. Sales in Performance Packaging declined as volume growth in Asia Pacific, EMEA and Latin America was more than offset by price declines in all geographic areas. Dow Hygiene and Medical also posted volume gains in Asia Pacific, EMEA and Latin America, however this was offset by pricing headwinds in all geographic areas.

Equity earnings were $39 million, down from $59 million in the year-ago period. EBITDA for the segment was $760 million, compared with $958 million in the same period last year. The decline was primarily driven by high turnaround activity in the quarter, which resulted in increased maintenance expenses and sourcing costs compared with the year-ago period.

Feedstocks and Energy

Sales in Feedstocks and Energy were $2.7 billion, down 10 percent from the same period last year. Volume decreased 7 percent and price declined 3 percent. Lower sales in the Chlor-Alkali/Chlor-Vinyl business were driven by price declines, coupled with weak demand in the vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) sector in North America. Volume declines also reflected the year-ago shutdown of the Company’s VCM asset in Louisiana. Caustic soda recorded strong demand growth for the third consecutive quarter year-over-year. Ethylene Oxide reported higher sales due to pricing strength driven by continued tight market conditions in North America, while ethylene glycol sales declined on weak demand.

Equity Earnings were $52 million, down from $138 million from the same period last year due primarily to planned turnarounds in MEGlobal. EBITDA for the segment was $134 million, compared with $254 million in the same period last year.

Outlook

Commenting on the Company’s outlook, Liveris said:

“World economic activity saw marked deterioration throughout the second quarter, driven primarily by Europe’s persistent recessionary conditions. Activity in China and elsewhere in the emerging world has decelerated, and recovery in the United States is moderating from its momentum earlier this year, due to weakening consumer confidence, softer trade flows and high unemployment.

“Entering the second half of 2012, the global macro environment is not improving at the rate previously anticipated, and we have structured our business plans accordingly. In the midst of this challenging and volatile environment, we will accelerate our cost reduction and efficiency programs to meet these conditions head on. And as a result we remain squarely focused on managing our operations: implementing disciplined price and volume management, further reducing costs and capital spending, continuing to de-leverage our balance sheet, and generating strong cash flow.

“Despite these near-term headwinds, Dow has the right strategy in place to deliver over the long term. The scale and breadth of our integrated portfolio, coupled with our world-class feedstock advantage and our innovation pipeline, will drive higher returns and value for our shareholders.”


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