Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Outspoken Dow CEO Sees No Slowdown

The CEO of the world's 2nd largest chemical maker says the market should stop panicking over the debt crisis in Europe and China growth. According to him, company sales indicate consumer demand is improving in both regions.

Interesting comments from a very outspoken CEO in the past. If he isn't seeing a slowdown, then it likely isn't happening. The US ISM Manufactoring Index just posted a 59.7 number for May so the data backs up his claims as well. The real question the markets are dealing with is whether the crisis in Europe eventually pushes the world economy over the edge. The markets recent plunge suggests that to be the case, but the data up to this point argues a different result.

More comments from CEO Liveris:

  • April sales topped the monthly average in the first quarter, and May probably beat April, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said today in a webcast from New York. June order books show the gains are continuing, he said. Emerging markets are leading the recovery, and demand in Europe and North America is improving, Liveris said.
  • “When I come to Wall Street, I feel like the sky is falling. When I go back to Main Street, everything is fine, folks. Stop panicking,” Liveris told investors gathered at the Goldman Sachs Basic Materials Conference. “Demand is good.”
  • Improvement in European demand is allowing price increases, and a weaker euro boosted Dow’s exports from Germany, Liveris said. U.S. consumer spending is rising on everything from appliances and cars to electronics, he said. April sales volumes for coatings and infrastructure materials rose 12 percent, leading gains.
  • “We are seeing good momentum and the momentum is continuing in the second quarter,” Liveris said.
  • “If things were really affecting in China or in southern Europe, we aren’t seeing those yet,” Liveris said. “China is still very robust.”
So if the momentum continues it calls into question the fears in the market. Clearly the market is worth 1,300+ if Liveris is correct with 12 month forward earnings reaching in the upper $80s.

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