Dow, DuPont report higher earnings for 2013

Against the back of a slowly recovering global economy, US-based chemical maker Dow Chemical reported US$14.4 billion in fourth quarter revenue, a 4% increase over the same quarter in 2012, with a net income of US$963 million, reversing the US$716 million loss reported for the same quarter in 2012. Meanwhile, compatriot DuPont doubled its profits in the fourth quarter and boosted its full-year earnings by 76%.

The Wilmington-headquartered DuPont’s only downside was its Performance Chemicals division, which it is spinning off into a separate company. "For the year, we delivered double-digit operating earnings growth and higher margins, aside from the substantial decline in Performance Chemicals," said CEO Ellen Kullman.

For the fourth quarter, DuPont’s net income was US$185 million, while sales went up 5.8% to US$7.75 billion. For the full year, the company’s sales were US$35.73 billion, up from US$34.81 billion in 2012.

The company expects a 4% gain in sales this year. Meanwhile the Performance Chemicals division, which includes refrigerants, titanium dioxide and Teflon and Corian surfacing materials, had sales of US$6.7 billion. The spin-off is expected to be completed by next year.

Dow Chemical is also basking in the limelight of its higher earnings, reporting US$57.1 billion in revenue for the full year, a 1% increase over 2012. “Dow’s fourth quarter and full-year performance is the result of successful execution against our stated goals and commitments throughout the year,” Andrew Liveris, said Chairman/CEO. ”We also made consistent strides against our aggressive portfolio targets, illustrated by US$850 million in proceeds from divestitures in 2013, coupled with the announced carve-out of US$5 billion of commodity chemicals businesses.”

Dow was recently targeted by activist investor Dan Loeb who has taken up an unspecified stake in Dow and said that the company should consider a spinoff of its petrochemical segment (

According to analysts who spoke at a conference call, Liveris did not provide specific guidance for Dow’s 2014 financial performance, but he did provide a more general outlook — one that was only modestly optimistic about global economic growth. He was also quoted to have said he’s confident in Dow’s ability to enhance shareholder value in this environment, largely due to projects in the pipeline. He mentioned the company’s focus on highly-accretive growth projects, such as the new product launches in Dow AgroSciences, investments on the US Gulf Coast and Sadara joint venture.


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