January 26, 2017

Dow Chemical beats Q4 forecasts

A boost in revenue from consumer markets pushed Dow Chemical Co.‘s fourth-quarter results beyond Wall Street expectations.

The results were helped by the chemical company’s move to take full control of its Dow-Corning venture. It still faces scrutiny over a proposed merger with rival DuPont.

During the quarter, Midland-based Dow Chemical reported a loss of $33 million, or 3 cents per share, mainly on a hefty charge. Earnings, adjusted for nonrecurring costs, came to 99 cents per share.

Revenue surged 13.6 percent to $13 billion on several factors, including volume growth and the silicones business.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 88 cents per share, while four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $12.48 billion in revenue.

“Operationally, we showcased the power and resilience of our consumer-driven business model throughout the year, no matter what economic volatility occurred,” said Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris.

Closing the merger with DuPont, valued at $62 billion, is a key focus for the company moving forward. But, antitrust regulators seem increasingly wary about industry consolidation.

Earlier this week, a federal judge sided with the Justice Department‘s decision to prohibit the merger of health insurance companies Aetna and Humana.

DuPont and Dow are trying to ease some tensions with a plan to split into three separate, publicly traded companies following the merger. They would focus on agriculture, material science, and the production and sale of specialty products, respectively.

Still, heavy scrutiny from regulators remains a barrier for the companies. Late last year, the EU Commission reviewing the proposed merger put its work on hold as it waits for more information from the companies.

Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research.

January 26, 2017, Crain’s Detroit Business