- Investors applaud Dow Chemical's (DOW +2.9%) move to explore a spinoff or sale of its commodity chemical business - part of its original founding business from the late 19th century - which could generate up to $3B; it's part of Dow’s ongoing efforts to shift toward higher-margin products and technologies.
- Dow already had divested itself of ~$700M YTD; CEO Andrew Liveris had said DOW was planning to dispose of up to $4B in assets over the coming 12-24 months, and the chlorine spinoff plan means an increase in that estimate.
- The move will help the stock price and valuation over the next six to 12 months, Argus says, since Dow has tended to have a slightly lower valuation because investors want to see less of a commodity company and more of a specialized one.
- North American chlor-alkali producers Axiall (AXLL +9.6%), Olin (OLN +7.5%) and Westlake Chemical (WLK +1.8%) are higher on Dow's plan to close 800K tons of caustic and chlorine capacity, which analysts see as a positive for merchant sellers of caustic as it offsets the new capacity from the Dow-Mitsui joint venture.
Dow Chemical's spinoff plans, chlor-alkali closures lift other chemical plays
Dec 2 2013, 14:24 ET