Diversified chemicals manufacturer and Dow-30 component DowDuPont (DWDP- Free DowDuPont Stock Report) has reported first-quarter earnings. The company posted net sales of $21.5 billion, representing 5% growth, on a pro forma basis. This was driven by the healthy performance of a number of businesses within the Materials Science and Specialty Products segments. GAAP earnings per share was $0.47, and adjusted share net came in at $1.12. Efforts by the company to control expenses supported profitability. Wall Street was not impressed by the company’s latest round of results, however, sending the stock lower this morning.
The Materials Science division experienced strong performances from all segments and regions. The Performance Materials & Coatings business enjoyed strength in Consumer Solutions. Meanwhile, the Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure line gained from robust sales in Polyurethanes & CAV. Elsewhere, the Packaging & Specialty Plastics operation benefited from healthy volume growth and greater prices for ethylene derivatives.
The Specialty Products segment also posted healthy overall results. The Nutrition & Biosciences line benefited from greater demand for probiotics and pharmaceuticals. The Transportation & Advanced Polymers unit also capitalized on healthy demand from a number of markets. Elsewhere, the Safety & Construction business gained from strength in industrial personal protection, graphics, and medical packaging markets. Performance was somewhat less favorable at the Electronics & Imaging operation, as modest volume growth was outweighed by the divestiture of several businesses.
These increases more than offset weakness in the Agriculture segment, which experienced considerable volume declines. Results here were hurt by weather-related planting delays in North America and Brazil, lower-than- expected planting area, and a decline in sales during the Brazil safrinha season. This was partly offset by improvements in sunflower seeds in certain markets and growth in global insecticide sales.
Looking forward, the company ought to further benefit from broad-based growth in the global economy in the coming quarters, driven by consumer-led demand. A number of leading indicators suggest increasing economic activity, and we expect that DowDuPont will further benefit from favorable macroeconomic trends. That said, volatility of input costs and weather-related softness in agriculture will likely remain headwinds. All things considered, we have decided to leave intact our expected full-year 2018 sales and share earnings estimates of $85 billion and $3.40, respectively.