Despite wider margins in European plastics, chemical giant Dow Chemical Company reported third-quarter 2015 earnings of US$12 billion, a decline of 16 per cent year over year that the company says has been driven by pricing and currency.
But earnings per share were up. Dow reported earnings per share of US$1.09, or operating earnings per share of 82 cents. That’s up from earnings of 71 cents per share in the year-ago period, or earnings of 72 cents per share on an operating basis, according to a Dow news release.
Midland, Mich.-based Dow reported gains in most operating segments, excluding agricultural sciences. Gains were led by performance plastics (up five per cent) and infrastructure solutions and consumer solutions (both up two per cent).
Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris completed the sale of Dow Chlorine Products on October 5 to focus on more-profitable businesses such as plastic packaging, seeds, and pesticides. “This transaction allows Dow to maximize shareholder value, while maintaining our commitment to these industry-leading joint ventures,” Liveris said in a statement.
Margins from polyethylene and other plastics that comprise Dow’s largest business expanded as European factories took advantage of lower prices for naphtha refined from crude oil, Liveris added.