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[C&EN, May 21, 2001]

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NEWS OF THE WEEK
BUSINESS
July 9, 2001
Volume 79, Number 28
CENEAR 79 28 p.10
ISSN 0009-2347
[Previous Story] [Next Story]

MORE FIRMS SEEING EARNINGS SHORTFALL
Dow, DuPont, Eastman join growing list of companies revising estimates

WILLIAM STORCK

The two largest U.S. chemical companies now say second-quarter earnings will be lower than expected. Dow Chemical and DuPont, as well as Eastman Chemical, thus join other firms such as BASF, Bayer, Rohm and Haas, and Nova Chemicals that had earlier warned investors.

7928Holliday
HOLLIDAY
PHOTO BY CAROL T. POWERS
Dow notes that demand has not been as strong as had been anticipated, affecting both volume and price. The company says that, although it no longer expects to meet its previously stated estimate of 35 to 45 cents per share for the quarter, it does expect earnings to be within the current range of analyst estimates, which is 28 to 37 cents per share.

DuPont estimates its second-quarter earnings, before one-time items, will be in the 35- to 45-cents-per-share range. Per share earnings were 90 cents in second- quarter 2000 and 54 cents in first-quarter 2001.

DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles O. (Chad) Holliday Jr. says: "The global slowdown that has forced U.S. manufacturing capacity utilization to levels equal to the 1982 recession is now expanding to Europe, South America, and parts of Asia. Demand is correspondingly weak across all markets, and our customers have continued to draw down existing inventories or delayed purchasing until conditions improve."

According to Eastman Chemical, despite aggressive cost reduction efforts, results will not meet an April estimate of about 20 cents per share above its first- quarter earnings of 48 cents, but will be in the 53- to 57-cents-per-share range. Earnest W. Deavenport Jr., chairman and CEO, says the company has not seen the normal seasonal increase in demand in the second quarter.

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