DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE:DWDP) Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Aug 02, 2018 • 08:00 am ET
our investor events this fall. We also made progress this quarter with the other items you see on the timeline. We remain confident that the new Dow will separate by the end of the first quarter of 2019, and Corteva by June 1, resulting in the creation of new DuPont at that time. We expect to file the first Form 10 for Dow in September and the initial Form 10 for Corteva by the end of October.
Our teams are getting excited about this as the date gets closer and they can see the opportunities ahead for themselves, as more focused companies and leaders in their industries. We have made strong progress with building out the three advisory committees, announcing ten new members since our last earnings call. The addition of these high quality leaders strengthens the focus of each committee and the diversity of perspective within them. We intend to announce the leadership teams of Corteva and DuPont next month.
Also, on July 1, we completed the handover of the management books and operational control of the Hemlock Semiconductor JV to Specialty Products. This completes the transfer of the 2.4 billion in EBITDA resulting from the portfolio realignment we announced last September. Starting with the third quarter, the results of the JV will be aligned with Electronics and Imaging. And we will provide you with a recast of our historical results to reflect this reporting change.
I also recognize many of you are interested in our views on the potential effects of tariffs that took effect, July 6. We support fair trade and continue to work with all stakeholders to find effective and measured solutions to unfair trade policies. We have completed an analysis of the potential impact, and continue to expect that tariffs will not have a material impact on the company in 2018, partly due to mitigation actions we have already taken and partly due to our global asset base.
On the Ag side, we recognize that trade tensions have increased volatility in agricultural commodity prices, and have amplified market reactions to very highly rated US crops. We can also see that global markets are already adjusting to the current landscape. US soybean exports that would normally go to China are simply being shifted to other countries, as reported by USDA. That said, we will continue to monitor events as they unfold and take actions to mitigate any potential impacts.
With that, I'll turn it over to Howard to cover our financial performance in more detail, as well as our outlook.
Thanks, Ed. Moving to slide 4 and a summary of our second quarter results. We once again grew earnings per share, net sales and EBITDA, each by double digits. Drivers of the 41% EPS increase include: volume and local price gains, cost synergies, currency, higher equity earnings and lower pension and OPEB costs. Our tax rate was also lower than the year-ago period, in line with our modeling guidance. These gains more than offset higher raw