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Dow Chemical profit tops estimates on strong margins

(Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co <DOW.N>, the No. 1 U.S. chemical maker by sales, reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit as cost controls helped to boost margins in businesses that make coatings, plastics and crop-protection products. Margins expanded across most of Dow Chemical's businesses despite a more than $300 million increase in the cost of feedstock and energy, the company said.

As Dow seeks growth, new Enlist crop/chemicals seen as key

By Carey Gillam INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Dan Kittle has spent more than a decade waiting for this day. As the man in charge of research and development at Dow AgroSciences, the unit of Dow Chemical Co that develops agricultural seeds and pesticides, Kittle remembers the "big shock" when rival Monsanto Co unveiled a genetically modified seed in 1996 designed to be used in combination with a specific herbicide, a combination that rapidly led Monsanto to riches.

Dow Chemical resists spin-off pressure, raises buyback plan

By Swetha Gopinath and Garima Goel (Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co <DOW.N> hiked its dividend and tripled its share buyback program, but signaled that it was in no hurry to fall in line with activist shareholder Daniel Loeb's demands to spin off its slow-growing petrochemical businesses. The company also reported a quarterly profit that comfortably beat market expectations, powered by resilient agricultural demand and strong margins at its plastics business.

Third Point says it bought a stake in Dow Chemical and pushes for petrochemical unit spinoff

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Hedge fund Third Point LLC said Tuesday that it has acquired a significant stake in Dow Chemical and wants the company to spin off its petrochemicals division. Dow Chemical Co. shares jumped $2.25, or 5.2 per cent, to $45.32 in morning trading after rising as high as $46.70 earlier. The stock has been trading around six-year highs. Third Point says Dow is now its biggest investment but didn't specify how many shares it had acquired other than to say it was a significant position. CNBC reported that Third Point paid $1.3 billion for the stake.

Dow Chemical may sell businesses exposed to commodity swings

By Swetha Gopinath and Garima Goel (Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co <DOW.N> will consider selling its paint, construction and chlorine businesses as it joins industry rivals in shedding units vulnerable to commodity price swings, its chief executive said. Dow, the largest U.S. chemical maker by sales, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday due to strong margins in its plastics business and higher sales of pesticides to farmers. Its shares rose 1.5 percent in morning trading.

Dow Chemical says it will appeal $1.2 billion order after price-fixing verdict

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A federal judge has ordered Dow Chemical Co. to pay $1.21 billion in damages after it lost a class-action lawsuit that accused it of conspiring to fix prices. Dow says it will appeal. The Feb. 20 jury verdict in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., was for Dow to pay $400 million in damages. The jury decided that Dow had participated in a price-fixing conspiracy for the chemical urethane, which is used in a wide variety of products.

Dow Chemical looking to raise $1.5 billion from asset sales

(Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co <DOW.N>, looking to focus on high-margin businesses, said it plans to raise $1.5 billion from asset sales in the next 18 months and is seeking buyers for its polypropylene licensing and catalyst business and its plastics additives unit. The largest U.S. chemical maker said it has divested non-core businesses representing about $8 billion in revenue since 2009.
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