Dow gives upbeat sales forecast as reopening economies drive demand

(Reuters) -Chemicals maker Dow Inc on Thursday forecast better-than-expected sales for the current quarter, betting on increased industrial production and higher consumer spending as economies emerge from pandemic-led lockdowns.

FILE PHOTO: A Dow sign is seen at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

Dow also beat estimates for second-quarter profit and revenue as its chemicals – used in everything from plastic and food packaging to textiles, electronics and paints – have seen a steady rise in prices on the back of strong consumer and industrial demand as well as lower inventories.

The company said it was expecting third-quarter net sales of between $13.75 billion and $14.25 billion, well above the estimates of $12.64 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

“Looking ahead, we expect earnings momentum from additional improvements in consumer spending, international travel and industrial production,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Fitterling said.

Fitterling’s comment comes as the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus is fuelling fears of a pandemic resurgence and lockdowns across different parts of the globe.

Prices jumped 16% in the second quarter from the prior period, while volumes rose 1%, helped by growing demand in infrastructure, industrial and personal-care end markets.

Volumes were weighed down by lingering supply constraints from the impact of a winter storm on the U.S. Gulf Coast in February.

Net income available for Dow stockholders rose to $1.9 billion, or $2.51 per share, in the three months ended June 30, from $991 million, or $1.32 per share, in the first quarter.

Adjusted net operating income of $2.72 per share beat estimates of $2.45, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net sales of $13.89 billion also topped estimates of $13.07 billion.

Shares of the company, which have risen 7.5% so far this year, were up 1.3% at $60.50 in premarket trading.

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