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Dow Chemical Says Sales Volume Slides 9%, Recovery Slow

October 22/2009
Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker, said sales volumes fell 9 percent in the third- quarter and the company doesnt expect significant demand improvements next year.

Sales in the quarter fell 22 percent to $12 billion, topping analysts $11.8 billion average estimate. The revenue decline was 32 percent when viewed as if Rohm & Haas was part of Dow in the year earlier quarter, with prices dropping 23 percent.

Dow is not counting on material improvements in market conditions through 2010, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said today in a statement. The global economy is now on firmer footing and in, our view, the United States economy is beginning a slow and tenuous recovery, with unemployment continuing to be a drag on consumer spending.

Dow fell $1.14, or 4.5 percent, to $24.36 at 9:53 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares gained 69 percent this year before today.

Net income increased to $796 million, or 63 cents a share, from $428 million, or 46 cents, a year earlier, the Midland, Michigan-based company said. Profit excluding divestitures and other one-time items was 24 cents a share, topping the 10-cent average estimate of 10 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Liveris fired workers, shut plants and sold assets to buoy earnings and pay off a loan used to buy Rohm & Haas Co. in April. Profit rose in five of Dows seven units, and lower U.S. natural gas prices helped cut raw- material costs by $3.5 billion. Sales improved 6 percent from the second quarter.       

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