DowDuPont, the chemicals group, has announced a new $3bn share buyback plan as it reported earnings above analysts’ expectations for the third quarter.
The company said on Thursday morning it would buy back $3bn of its shares, or about 2 per cent of its equity, joining companies including IBM and Royal Dutch Shell that have announced increased repurchase programmes this week.
DowDuPont made the commitment as it reported earnings per share excluding one-off items of 74 cents for the third quarter, up 35 per cent on a pro forma basis and above the average of analysts’ forecasts, which was 72 cents.
Sales were up 10 per cent on a pro forma basis at $20.1bn. The company said it had seen sales volume growth “in all divisions and all regions, led by double-digit growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America”
Ed Breen, chief executive, said customer demand had “remained strong”. The company reaffirmed its guidance that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be about $3.75bn this year — a figure that was seen as slightly disappointing when the company issued it in August.
DowDuPont, which was formed through the $130bn merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont last year, is in the process of breaking itself up into three more focused companies. Mr Breen said the company had increased its target for the cost savings it expects from the merger, from $3.3bn a year to $3.6bn.
He added: “Each division is performing well, and we remain on track to complete the intended separations, beginning with Materials Science on April 1, followed by Agriculture and Specialty Products on June 1.”
The group also announced the planned boards for those three businesses. Mr Breen is intended to be executive chairman of the new speciality chemicals company, which will be called DuPont, and will sit on the board of the seeds and agricultural chemicals business Corteva Agriscience.
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