MIDLAND, MI - The Dow Chemical Co. reported sales of $12.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2009, representing a 15 percent increase compared with reported sales in the same period last year.
On a pro forma basis, sales in the fourth quarter of 2009, excluding completed divestitures, increased four percent compared to the same period last year, driven by a 10 percent increase in volume, partially offset by a six percent decrease in price. Growth was reported in all operating segments except Hydrocarbons and Energy. From a geographic perspective, volume trends favored emerging regions. Volume grew more than 20 percent versus the same period last year in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe and IMEA.
Reported earnings for the current quarter were $0.08 per share versus a loss of $1.68 per share in the fourth quarter of 2008. The company earned $0.18 per share in the quarter, excluding certain items. This compares with a loss of $0.63 per share in the same quarter last year, excluding certain items and discontinued operations.
Sales in Coatings and Infrastructure were $1,178 million, down three percent compared with the same period last year. Volume increased one percent, while price declined four percent. Year-over-year volume growth was reported in Asia Pacific, Latin America and IMEA, with robust demand in these regions for both architectural and industrial coatings. This growth more than offset reduced demand in North America and Europe. Dow Coating Materials reported lower sales versus the same period last year, driven by price declines, particularly for epoxy-based coatings. Year-over-year volume for Dow Coating Materials was flat, as strong growth in emerging geographies offset weak demand in North America and Europe.
Compared with the prior quarter, sales in Coatings and Infrastructure reported a seasonal decline of 11 percent, with volume down 14 percent and price up three percent. At the segment level, volume growth in Asia Pacific, Latin America and IMEA was more than offset by the seasonal decline in coatings and construction end-markets in North America and Europe. Dow Building and Construction and Dow Coating Materials both reported declines in sales, driven by typical seasonal slowdowns, although Dow Coating Materials saw signs of stabilizing demand in residential construction sectors in the United States and increasing demand in China. Industrial coatings for automotive and maintenance applications also showed signs of improvement.
Dow reported full-year earnings of $0.32 per share, equivalent to $0.63 per share excluding certain items and discontinued operations. Reported earnings for 2008 were $0.62 per share, or $1.79 per share excluding certain items and discontinued operations. Net income from continuing operations for the year was $566 million. This compares with net income from continuing operations in 2008 of $626 million.
Dow reported full-year sales of $44.9 billion, down 22 percent from reported sales in 2008. The company reported sequential sales improvements throughout the year, but these gains were not enough to offset an overall sales decline of 30 percent versus 2008 on a pro forma basis. Volume declined 13 percent, with the emerging geographies of Asia Pacific, Latin America and IMEA performing markedly better than North America and Europe. Volume declined in all operating segments except Health and Agricultural Sciences, which reported a four percent volume gain. Feedstock and energy costs fell $10.2 billion, or 40 percent, which led to price declines of 17 percent versus 2008. Price declines were reported in all operating segments and in all geographic areas.