U.S. chemical firms are running out of dependable strategies for maintaining earnings in a global economy that shows few signs of growth. In the second quarter, the 23 firms tracked by C&EN reported an average decline in earnings of 6.1% compared with the year-ago quarter. And in the first quarter, earnings fell by 8.4%.
Also in the second quarter—and for the first time since the Great Recession ended in 2009—more than half of the surveyed companies reported a decrease in top-line revenues. On average, the companies saw sales retreat by 1.1%. Chemical executives blame the drop on lower sales volumes because of customer destocking, depressed prices, and currency exchange losses due to a relatively strong dollar.Next, Lisa Jarvis' article on pharma industry earnings:
Second-quarter sales plummeted at many big pharmaceutical companies as the full impact of patent expirations on top-selling products kicked in. Companies hit the hardest by generics competition are trying everything from acquisitions to geographic diversification to shore up their businesses.
For a second consecutive quarter, overall sales and earnings for the big pharmaceutical companies tracked by C&EN declined. For the 10 companies reporting second-quarter results, sales were down 4.5% compared with the same period in 2011. Earnings fell 2.6%.Well, let's hope this is a temporary thing.