Dow sees pick up in demand after quarterly results beat estimates

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The Dow logo is seen on a building in downtown Midland, Michigan

By Taru Jain

(Reuters) – Dow Inc <DOW.N> on Thursday beat estimates for quarterly earnings and forecast a pick up in demand as more industries start to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumer spending on big-ticket items such as furniture, home appliances and vehicles, to which Dow has significant exposure, has started to gain momentum after the pandemic hurt demand earlier in the year.

Chief Financial Officer Howard Ungerleider said on a post-earnings call that he expects demand to recover at a moderate pace in the fourth quarter, excluding any significant impact from a second wave of the pandemic.

While recovery has been uneven across markets, China, where the coronavirus first emerged, has seen a stronger recovery than other regions for the company.

“China, in almost all markets, has returned to pre-COVID levels,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Fitterling said on the call.

To counter the pandemic hit, the company has cut 6% of its global workforce, while selling its non-core businesses to bolster cash reserves by nearly a billion dollars.

Dow, spun off from DowDuPont last year, said it was on course to reduce $500 million in operational expenses and continued to target over $300 million in improvements to annual core earnings by the end of next year.

The company forecast fourth-quarter revenue between $9.5 billion and $9.8 billion, slightly below Refinitiv IBES estimates of $9.8 billion.

Revenue fell 9.8% to $9.71 billion, beating estimates of $9.53 billion.

Net loss was $25 million, or 4 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $333 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted profit of 50 cents per share beat analysts’ estimates of 33 cents.

(Reporting by Taru Jain and Arathy Nair; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva)

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