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Why Is Dow Inc. (DOW) Up 12.1% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Dow Inc. (DOW - Free Report) . Shares have added about 12.1% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Dow Inc. due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Dow's Earnings and Revenues Trounce Estimates in Q3

Dow logged loss (on a reported basis) of 4 cents per share for third-quarter 2020 against earnings of 45 cents per share a year ago. The bottom line in the reported quarter was hit by restructuring and asset-related charges.

Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings were 50 cents per share for the reported quarter, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents.

Dow raked in net sales of $9,712 million for the quarter, down roughly 10% year over year. It, however, surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9,340.3 million. Sales fell due to lower local pricing resulting from reduced global energy prices. Dow saw a 9% decline in local prices in the reported quarter.

Volumes fell 1% year over year in the quarter. However, volumes rose 9% on a sequential comparison basis on improved demand across furniture & bedding, appliances, packaging, construction and automotive end markets.

Segment Highlights

Packaging & Specialty Plastics: The division’s sales fell 10% year over year to $4.6 billion in the reported quarter, hurt by reduced polyethylene prices. Volumes edged up 1% while local prices slipped 12%. Currency increased sales by 1%.

Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure: Sales for the unit fell 9% year over year to $3.1 billion. Volumes fell 3% on lower demand in automotive, industrial and energy markets while local prices declined 7%. Currency increased sales by 1%.

Performance Materials & Coatings: Revenues from the division went down 11% year over year to $2 billion. Sales were impacted by volumes and local price declines of 5% and 6%, respectively. The impact of currency was flat. Volumes were hurt by declines in automotive, construction and oil & gas applications.

Financials

Dow had cash and cash equivalents of $4,549 million at the end of the quarter. Long-term debt was $16,698 million.

Cash provided by operating activities from continuing operations was $1.8 billion in the reported quarter while free cash flow was $1.5 billion.

Dow also returned $518 million to shareholders in the third quarter through dividends.

Outlook

Moving ahead, Dow noted that it expects the rebound that it witnessed in its markets in the third quarter to continue in the near term. The company said that it entered the fourth quarter with momentum on a sequential comparison basis, improved financial flexibility and a consistent focus on cash. It remains focused to deliver against its strategic and operational objectives.

Moreover, Dow expects its restructuring actions to generate total annualized EBITDA savings of more than $300 million by the end of 2021.

The company also completed the divestment of its North American rail infrastructure assets in the third quarter for $315 million. It also entered into an agreement to divest certain U.S. Gulf Coast marine and terminal operations and assets, with expected cash proceeds of $620 million at transaction closure before end-2020.
 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 45.38% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Dow Inc. has an average Growth Score of C, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with a B. However, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. It comes with little surprise Dow Inc. has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.


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