(By Mani) Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) reported fourth-quarter earnings that trailed estimates on weak sales from feedstocks and energy, and performance materials. In addition, restructuring charges totaling $986 million led the company to report a wider loss for the October to December period.
Dow Chemical reported a net loss of $716 million, or 61 cents a share, compared to a loss of $20 million, or 2 cents a share, in the fourth-quarter of 2011.
Excluding items, adjusted earnings per share rose to 33 cents from 25 cents, but lagged the 34 cents consensus view of sixteen Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Sales for the quarter were $13.9 billion, down 1 percent versus the year-ago period. Street estimated revenue of $13.70 billion.
Agricultural Sciences sales grew 17 percent, with increases were reported in Electronic and Functional Materials . These increases were more than offset by declines in Feedstocks and Energy (down 9 percent) and Performance Materials (down 5 percent).
Volume was flat for the quarter, as a 5 percent decline in Western Europe offset volume growth in Asia Pacific (up 5 percent) and North America and Latin America (each up 1 percent). Excluding Dow's Feedstocks and Energy operating segment, volume in North America increased 7 percent, reflecting improving demand.
"The second half of 2012 saw significant deterioration in the markets we serve, particularly in China," said Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.
Cash flow from operations was $1.6 billion for the quarter, bringing full-year cash flow from operations to $4.1 billion.