(Updates with comments from CEO in third paragraph.)
Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker by revenue, reported third-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates because of higher costs and lower sales at the unit that makes epoxy products.
Net income rose to $594 million, or 49 cents a share, from $497 million, or 42 cents, Midland, Michigan-based Dow said today in a statement. Profit excluding restructuring costs was 50 cents a share, missing the 54-cent average of 16 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 0.7 percent to $13.7 billion, less than the $14 billion average estimate.
Earnings in the performance-materials unit, which makes chlorine derivatives such as epoxy, fell 36 percent. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said on a conference call today that he’s expanding a plan to divest $1.5 billion of assets to as much as $4 billion, including epoxy, used in plywood and windmill blades, and vinyls.
"In performance materials, the impact from higher oil and higher propylene was a little more than most people expected," John Roberts, a New York-based analyst at UBS AG who recommends buying the shares, said by phone today.
Dow dropped 1.2 percent to $40.55 at 12:18 p.m. in New York. The shares earlier fell 4.6 percent, the most intraday since April 15.
A jump in September hydrocarbon prices didn’t give Dow enough time to recoup the extra cost, eroding earnings, Liveris said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s "In the Loop with Betty Liu."
The agriculture segment had the biggest drop, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization tumbling 71 percent as North American farmers increased returns of unused seed and sales of seeds and genetic licenses declined 4 percent.