Dow Chemical Reports Solid Results; Warns of Slowing Growth
Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW – $47.99) reported better-than-expected second quarter earnings, with revenue in line. The company reported adjusted earnings was $0.91 up from $0.74 in the year ago period, beating estimates for $0.82. Sales were $12.9 billion, down 13% year over year, with declines driven primarily by currency and lower oil price. Analysts were looking for $12.96 billion. The company, however, warned of soft demand in China, raising concerns that the largest U.S. chemical maker by revenue would not be able to maintain its growth rate in the key market. “China remains a mixed bag,” Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said on a post-earnings call. “A very solid Q2 for us is not necessarily a harbinger of Q3”. However, Liveris said demand from the automobiles, construction, water and food safety industries would continue to drive demand in China. Dow, like other U.S. chemical makers, has benefited from cheap U.S. shale gas, a key component of plastics and many chemicals. This equity offers worthwhile total return potential for the pull to late decade, supported by the stock’s healthy dividend yield. I continue to expect solid growth in sales, share earnings and dividends for the company in the coming years. Nevertheless, a sluggish global economy could result in elevated volatility for these shares.