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

Dow Chemical (NYSE: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.

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.

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%.

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%.