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Dow Chemical Co. reported a third-quarter profit Thursday that beat analysts’ forecasts Thursday.

Dow Chemical Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said the company’s 16 consecutive quarters of year-over-year earnings growth “fuels our excitement for the future.”

Liveris attributed the growth to the June acquisition of Dow Corning’s silicones business, as he did after second-quarter earnings were posted this summer. The company’s successful third quarter was driven by gains in consumer solutions, agricultural sciences and infrastructure solutions.

“As we establish the foundation for the new Dow, we have the right tools in hand to build the world's leading materials science company,” Liveris said Thursday.

Midland-based Dow Chemical reported earnings of 63 cents per share, down from 82 cents per share a year ago. Adjusted for one-time gains and costs, third-quarter earnings per share came to 91 cents a share, which beat 20 analysts who projected Dow would post earnings of 79 cents a share for the third quarter.

The company reported $719 million earnings in the third quarter of 2016, a $2.4 billion decrease from the second quarter 2016 and a $571 million decrease from the same quarter a year ago.

Third-quarter sales were reported at $12.5 billion, up from $12 billion last year. The average estimate of 16 Wall Street analysts was $11.96 billion in revenue.

Operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 5 percent to $2.5 billion compared to a year ago.

Liveris said the company sees room for growth in their lead markets of “packaging, automotive and construction.”

“We’re growing where growth is needed,” he said. “We’ve built a portfolio really under all sorts of environments that can perform...There’s never been a better time at Dow.”

Liveris said Thursday the company is simultaneously focusing on running the company at its maximum earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization output and closing the company’s historic merger.

Currently, Dow is in the middle of regulatory approvals and examinations for a pending merger with Delaware-based DuPont Co.

Earlier this week, Liveris, said the company’s multibillion-dollar merger with DuPont Co. could be delayed until February, because European antitrust officials need more time to mull over competition issues in pesticides and crop seeds.

Spokeswoman Rachelle Schikorra said in a statement to The Detroit News: “Dow and DuPont remain focused on closing the transaction and continue to work constructively with regulatory agencies in all relevant jurisdictions.

“Given current regulatory agency status, closing would be expected to occur in the first quarter of 2017, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of all regulatory approvals.”

The European Commission was supposed to make its decision by December. They’d delayed the deadline until Feb. 6.

Dow and DuPont, two worldwide giants of the chemical manufacturing industry, announced in late July that shareholders approved the merger. The plan would break the merged company into three independent companies within two years of closing. One of the break-out companies — the material-science company — would be headquartered in Midland.

Dow Chemical announced in June its acquisition of Dow Corning in a deal separate from the pending merger. The acquisition of Dow Corning resulted in about 700 job cuts in Midland, Michigan, and 2,500 globally. Dow Chemical employs more than 5,000 workers in Midland, including about 1,600 at its headquarters.

In July, Liveris cited Dow Chemical’s full acquisition of Dow Corning Corp’s silicone unit as a main reason for a second quarter profit.

Dow Chemical stock was up 2.79 percent in pre-trading Thursday morning.

Dow Chemical shares had risen to $54.79 a share Thursday morning from $54.23 at market open, and $49.93 a share at the start of the year.

ithibodeau@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2359

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

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