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Price hikes power Dow's results ahead of DuPont merger
July 27, 2017 / 10:53 AM / in 3 months

Price hikes power Dow's results ahead of DuPont merger

FILE PHOTO: The Dow logo is seen at the entrance to Dow Chemical headquarters in Midland, Michigan May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

(Reuters) - Price hikes and strong demand helped Dow Chemical Co DOW.N beat Wall Street estimates in its last quarter before the chemicals giant merges with DuPont DD.N.

The $130 billion Dow-DuPont merger is on track to close next month, after which the new company is likely to break up into three independent, publicly traded units.

Dow, which makes a vast range of products like packaging material, chemicals for fertilizers and car brake fluids, said overall volumes rose 3 percent in the second quarter ended June 30.

“We had broad-based price bump in the quarter (with) double digit price increases in polyurethane and performance monomers,” Chief Financial Officer Howard Ungerleider said in an interview.

These synthetic products are used to make adhesives, coating materials and inks, among other things.

Revenue for the company rose 16 percent in the quarter, helped by an overall 5 percent rise in pricing.

The gains from strong pricing more than offset the impact of higher feedstock costs and commissioning and startup expenses at new projects, Ungerleider said on a conference call with analysts.

The chemical giant, which is valued at $81.15 billion, has been focusing on high-margin, consumer-driven products that serve the automobile, construction and electronics markets.

Dow said it now gets more than 60 percent of its earnings from the segment, compared with 35 percent in the early 2000s.

The company reported a surge in sales across geographies. Europe, Middle East, India and Africa together reported a 17.6 percent rise in sales to $4.39 billion.

In North America, its biggest market, sales increased 14 percent to $5.27 billion.

Dow earned $1.08 per share in the quarter, compared with the average analysts’ estimate of $1 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares were marginally higher at $66.32 on Thursday, despite Dow’s strong results.

“Dow got their earnings bump when DuPont posted their strong results,” said Christopher Muir, equity analyst at CFRA Research.

DuPont beat market estimates when it reported results on Tuesday, sending shares of both companies, which tend to trade in lock-step, to record highs.

Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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