Broad Sales, Price Gains Fuel 73% Jump in Dow Chemical's 2Q Net

By Features FOXBusiness

Dow Chemical (DOW) scored a 73% surge in second-quarter profits amid higher prices and growing sales across the board on Wednesday, sending shares of the largest U.S. chemical maker higher.

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Midland, Mich.-based Dow said it earned $982 million, or 84 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $566 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 85 cents, surpassing the Streets view of 81 cents.

Revenue jumped 18% to $16.05 billion, blowing past consensus calls for just $14.74 billion.

Dows results were driven by a 9% increase in volumes and a 19% leap in prices that includes rising prices in all operating segments and double-digit gains in all geographic regions. The rising prices helped offset a 30% rise in raw material costs.

This marked another quarter of tremendous progress for Dow, CEO Andrew Liveris said in a statement. We delivered significant and broad-based top-line growth, and reached a new quarterly sales record in emerging geographies. The performance of our diverse and balanced portfolio once again overcame continuing headwinds in certain sectors.

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Excluding divestitures, Dow posted rising volume in all of its regions. Latin America saw a 23% surge in volume, while Asia Pacific grew by 11% and Europe/Middle East/Africa gained 10%. North American volume rose just 4%.

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Dows operating segment growth was led by a 33% leap in hydro carbons and a 13% rise in health and agricultural sciences. Plastics rose 10% and performance products gained 9%.

Looking ahead, Liveris said Dows EPS growth and EBITDA run-rate of $9 billion were approaching near-term targets.

Shares of Dow gained 1.26% to $36.30 Wednesday morning, giving them a 2011 rally of 5%.