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Earnings Keep Falling, but Several Firms Beat Estimates

8:14 AM MDT | May 4, 2009 | NANCY SEEWALD, ROBERT WESTERVELT, AND REBECCA COONS

Lower sales volumes continued to take a toll on first-quarter earnings but most firms were still able to turn profits, largely helped by cost-cutting initiatives. Several firms also beat analysts’ expectations. Dow Chemical reported net income of $24 million, down from $941 million in the year-ago quarter, as the global recession and inventory destocking caused volumes to decline 19%. Reported earnings were 3 cts/share, or 12 cts/share excluding certain one-time items, comfortably above analyst forecasts of an 18-cts/share loss as reported by Thomson...

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