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Dow Chemical post loss of $716 million

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Dow Chemical CompanyThe Dow Chemical Company reported sales of $13.9 billion, with record sales gains in Agricultural Sciences (up 17 percent), but also a loss of $0.61 per share.

The company saw gains in Electronic and Functional Materials (up 3 percent) and Performance Plastics and Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions (both up 1 percent). Sales brought $13.9 billion, one percent down.

The Company reported flat volume growth 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 the Company’s Feedstocks and Energy segment, volume in North America increased seven percent, reflecting improved demand conditions.

EBITDA for the quarter was $125 million, or $1.6 billion on an adjusted basis. The company reported a loss of $0.61 per share ($716 million), or earnings of $0.33 per share on an adjusted basis. This compares with a loss of $0.02 per share in the same quarter last year, or adjusted earnings of $0.25 per share.

Andrew N. Liveris"The second half of 2012 saw significant deterioration in the markets we serve, particularly in China. Our Agricultural Sciences business continues to outperform, driven by its technology pipeline. Performance Plastics also posted strong results in the quarter, bolstered by feedstock advantages in North America and the Middle East, coupled with improving pricing momentum. In addition, our Kuwait joint ventures posted exceptional results in the quarter," said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Research and Development (R&D) expenses and Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses together increased $69 million versus the year-ago period, due primarily to ongoing investments in Agricultural Sciences. The Company reported equity earnings of $44 million for the quarter, or $206 million excluding the impact of certain items. This compares with $259 million in the year-ago period. Dow Corning represented the largest driver of the decline.

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