Dow Chemical Co's quarterly profit and revenue missed Wall Street's expectations as demand for electronics, plastics and coatings plunged, causing the company to cut production and aggressively conserve cash.

The results sent shares of Dow, the largest U.S. chemical maker by revenue, down 3 percent in premarket trading.

Europe and North America were Dow's weakest-performing regions, with emerging markets providing some help.

Dow's operating rate, a reflection of its full capacity, fell 9 percentage points to 72 percent in the quarter, levels not seen since the last recession.

We do not anticipate material improvements in market conditions for the first quarter of the year, but do project economic recovery will gain momentum as we move through the second quarter and the remainder of the year, Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said in a statement.

For the fourth quarter, the company posted a net loss of $20 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with net income of $426 million, or 37 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 25 cents per share.

By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 30 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $14.09 billion. Analysts expected $14.19 billion.

Revenue rose only due to a 5 percent price increase across the company, though the price increase dented volume by 3 percent.

Shares of Dow fell 3 percent to $32.95 in premarket trading. The stock has traded between $20.61 and $42.23 in the past 52 weeks.

(Reporting By Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Derek Caney, Dave Zimmerman)