The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW):
Fourth Quarter 2012 Highlights
- Dow reported a loss of $0.61 per share, or earnings of $0.33 per share on an adjusted basis (1). This compares with a loss of $0.02 per share in the same quarter last year, or adjusted earnings of $0.25 per share. Certain items in the quarter totaled a loss of $0.94 per share, driven primarily by previously announced restructuring actions, coupled with a goodwill impairment charge in the Company’s Formulated Systems business.
- Sales for the quarter were $13.9 billion, down 1 percent versus the year-ago period. Agricultural Sciences achieved a new sales record, with sales growing 17 percent. Increases were also reported in Electronic and Functional Materials (up 3 percent), Performance Plastics (up 1 percent) and Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions (up 1 percent). These increases were more than offset by declines in Feedstocks and Energy (down 9 percent) and Performance Materials (down 5 percent) .
- Volume was flat for the quarter, as a 5 percent decline in Western Europe offset volume growth in Asia Pacific (up 5 percent) and North America and Latin America (each up 1 percent). Excluding Dow’s Feedstocks and Energy operating segment, volume in North America increased 7 percent, reflecting improving demand.
- Price decreased $91 million, or 1 percent, while purchased feedstock and energy costs declined $413 million versus the year-ago period. On a sequential basis, price was up $333 million, or 2 percent, outpacing increases of $218 million in purchased feedstock and energy costs. Sequentially, price increases were led by Performance Plastics and Feedstocks and Energy, each up 4 percent.
- Equity earnings were $44 million, or $206 million excluding the impact of certain items. This compares with $259 million in the year-ago period. Dow Corning represented the largest driver of the decline.
- EBITDA (2) was $125 million, or $1.6 billion on an adjusted basis (3). Agricultural Sciences achieved a new fourth quarter EBITDA record.
- The Company leveraged the benefit of positive U.S. shale gas dynamics, driving a 430 basis point increase in Performance Plastics adjusted EBITDA margin year over year (4). To further leverage this advantage, Dow also achieved the first major milestone in its U.S. Gulf Coast integration investments, as its previously idled St. Charles Operations ethylene cracker restarted in December, in line with Dow’s year-end target.
- Cash flow from operations was $1.6 billion for the quarter, bringing full-year cash flow from operations to $4.1 billion.
- The Company demonstrated its ongoing commitment to shareholder remuneration, evidenced by the acceleration of its fourth quarter dividend payment.
Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer, stated:
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