GAAP earnings per share (EPS) was $1.32; Operating EPS¹ was $1.36, compared to $0.59 in the year-ago period. Operating EPS excludes certain items in the quarter, totaling $0.04 per share, related to restructuring implementation costs and digital acceleration spending.
Net sales were $11.9 billion, up 22% versus the year-ago period, driven by local price gains across all operating segments, businesses and regions. Sequentially, net sales were up 11% with gains in all segments and regions.
Local price increased 19% versus the year-ago period, reflecting gains in all operating segments. Sequentially, improvements in all operating segments, businesses and regions drove a 14% increase.
Volume was in line with the year-ago period as demand growth in Packaging & Specialty Plastics was offset by supply constraints in Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure and Performance Materials & Coatings due to the impact of Winter Storm Uri on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Equity earnings were $224 million, up $313 million compared to the year-ago period, primarily driven by margin expansion in polyurethanes and polyethylene at the Sadara and Kuwait joint ventures.
GAAP Net Income was $1.0 billion. Operating EBIT1 was $1.6 billion, up from $843 million in the year-ago period, primarily driven by margin expansion in Packaging & Specialty Plastics and Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure.
Dow elected to contribute $1 billion to its U.S. pension plans, and announced it will freeze its U.S. plans for active employees as of December 31, 2023. These actions and the subsequent remeasurement of the U.S. plans effectively reduce the Company’s pension liability by $2.3 billion and decrease its full year 2021 pension expense by approximately $200 million, inclusive of a curtailment gain.
Cash used for operating activities – continuing ops. was $228 million. Excluding the $1 billion elective pension contribution, cash from ops was more than $750 million. The Company’s ongoing prioritization of cash resulted in a cash flow conversion1 of 76% on a trailing twelve-month basis.
Dividend returns to shareholders totaled $521 million in the quarter.
The Sadara joint venture successfully completed its debt reprofiling and is now expected to be cash flow self-sufficient – providing an approximately $350 million cash tailwind to Dow in 2021