The fourth-quarter earnings report from Dow, the largest US chemical maker, is full of signs that the chemical sector is recovering from the pandemic-driven economic slowdown. Dow’s strong quarter follows similar performance from BASF and other companies that have given early glimpses into fourth-quarter 2020 earnings.
Dow posted sales of $10.7 billion for the period, up 4.9% from the pandemic-free fourth quarter of 2019. Its net income, excluding extraordinary items, for the quarter was $607 million, an increase of 5.2% from a year earlier.
“Overall, our fourth-quarter performance was a strong finish to a year where team Dow overcame significant macroeconomic and other external challenges,” Dow CEO Jim Fitterling told analysts on a Jan. 28 conference call.
Though Dow’s quarterly results suggest that the company has recovered, its full-year figures show that COVID-19 did leave a mark on its finances. Sales for 2020 were $38.2 billion, a 10.3% decline from 2019. Net income, barring one-time items, fell 53.2%, to $1.2 billion.
That's good news. Best wishes to Dow, and to us all.