(May 3, 2018) - DowDuPont reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday as increased prices for its products and demand for packaging, paint and other materials made up for a weak agriculture business.
The chemical producer, formed by the merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont last year, clocked up net sales of $21.5 billion for the quarter, which the company said compared to what would have been net sales of $20.5 billion if DowDuPont had been one company in the same quarter a year ago.
Adjusted earnings rose 7% to $1.12 per share, ahead of analysts' average estimate of $1.10, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"The Materials Science and Specialty Products divisions delivered better-than-expected top- and bottom-line growth with higher prices and volume gains," Chief Executive Ed Breen said in a statement. "Their growth more than offset weather-related delays that are expected to shift a substantial portion of our agriculture earnings to the second quarter."
The chemical giant said overall sales volumes fell 2%, but prices rose 3% on a comparable basis.
The materials science unit, which makes chemicals that go into making everything from cosmetics to packaging material to brake fluids, saw sales rise 17%, on the back of an 8% rise in volumes.
Its specialty products unit, which makes products that go into making construction materials or the semiconductors and chips used in mobile phones, saw sales rise 11%. The two divisions offset a slide of 25% in the agriculture division.