Today, 8:09 AM
Thu, Jul. 23, 8:18 AM
- Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) +1.9% premarket after Q2 earnings beat expectations and operating margins rose for the 11th consecutive quarter, helped largely by low raw material costs at its plastics-making business.
- Lower prices for oil, used as a raw material for plastics in Europe, and propane, used for the same purpose in the U.S., contributed to higher earnings at the plastics unit, Dow’s largest business.
- Dow attributes its Y/Y revenue decline - including a 16% Y/Y sales drop in its plastics unit to $4.8B - to currency fluctuations and lower oil prices; overall revenues rose 4% Q/Q, including a 14% jump in China and a 6% increase in the U.S.
- Dow's margins have remained strong due to cost-cutting efforts, rising to almost 19% in Q2 from 15% a year ago; cost of sales fell 18%.
- Q2 cash flow from operations totals $2.7B YTD; the company returned $1.5B to stockholders in dividends and buybacks in the quarter.
- "We see growing momentum in construction, packaging and automotive markets outweighing some softness in agriculture and energy-related markets, and we are geographically positioned to grow where growth exists," CEO ANdrew Liveris says.
Thu, Jul. 23, 7:03 AM
Wed, Jul. 22, 5:30 PM
- ABB, ABC, ADS, AEP, ALK, AMAG, AOS, ASPS, BCC, BHE, BKU, BMS, BMY, BSX, CAB, CAM, CAT, CELG, CFX, CLFD, CMCSA, CMS, COR, CS, CSL, CY, DAN, DFRG, DGX, DHR, DLX, DNKN, DOW, DPS, DST, EQM, EQT, FAF, FCX, FIS, FNB, GM, GMT, GNTX, GPI, GPK, HBAN, HERO, HUB.B, IMAX, IQNT, IVC, JNS, KKR, KMB, LAZ, LLY, LUV, MAC, MCD, MHO, MINI, MJN, MMM, MNRO, MRGE, NDAQ, NEO, NUE, NWE, ORI, PDS, PENN, PHM, PRLB, PTEN, QSII, R, RCI, RS, RTN, SCHL, SFE, SHPG, SNA, SQNS, STC, STM, SYNT, TCB, TROW, UA, UAL, UNP, USG, UTEK, VAC, VRX, WAB, WCC, WIT, WM, WRLD, XRS
Tue, Jun. 23, 3:15 PM
- Dow Chemical's (NYSE:DOW) widely used 2,4-D weedkiller is added to a World Health Organization list of potential carcinogens, just three months after the agency made a controversial assessment of Monsanto’s (NYSE:MON) glyphosate herbicide.
- 2,4-D - used for 70 years to control weeds in wheat, corn and soybean fields as well as gardens and lawns - is “possibly carcinogenic to humans," according to a report from the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- Dow strongly objects, saying the IARC’s classification is inconsistent with government findings in nearly 100 countries that have found 2,4-D is safe to use as directed.
- The IARC says 2,4-D is less of a cancer hazard than glyphosate, but that if finds strong epidemiological evidence that the weedkiller induces oxidative stress and moderate evidence that it suppresses the immune system.
Mon, Jun. 15, 5:30 PM
- Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) and plaintiffs that won a $1B judgment against it over claims it artificially inflated polyurethane prices indicated in a Supreme Court filing today that they were settling the case but then backtracked, and both sides now say no settlement has been reached.
- The parties had reached a written settlement conditioned upon the Supreme Court justices putting the case on hold; the court has not yet acted on the petition filed by Dow contesting the judgment but the case has not been put on hold.
- Several companies including Dow had been accused in a 2005 lawsuit of conspiring to fix prices of urethane chemicals in the preceding six years, but Dow was the only defendant not to settle; it was found liable in 2013 for $400M of damages, tripled under antitrust law to $1.2B, then reduced to $1.06B.
Fri, Jun. 5, 8:36 AM
- Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) is out in defense of its CEO after Reuters reported yesterday that Andrew Liveris was being investigated by the SEC over allegations of using company funds for personal benefit.
- In a statement late yesterday, Dow said the report "simply recycled old allegations that the company made public long ago and addressed through independent review, enhanced audits, and improved controls."
- Reuters reported that it learned the SEC issued subpoenas for "thousands of pages of documents and testimony" as part of a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit last year by a former company employee.
Thu, Jun. 4, 2:19 PM
- The SEC is investigating allegations that Dow Chemical (DOW -0.1%) Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris misused company funds for personal benefit, Reuters reports.
- It is not clear whether the SEC probe is limited to the spending allegations or is broader in scope, but the report says the SEC did issue subpoenas for thousands of pages of documents and testimony that were part of a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit brought last year by a former Dow employee.
- A Reuters report last month said other Dow employees, including a former chief auditor, had questioned whether Liveris used his position for personal benefit.
Wed, Jun. 3, 11:49 AM
- Dow Chemical (DOW +0.7%) has Australia on its radar as a potential market, CEO Andrew Liveris tells The Australian, noting that its recent exit from the chlorine business and lower global energy prices have put the company in a strong position.
- Dow is "at record profits, record cash flows, record numbers of patents, record new products, but we are restless for growth," the CEO says. "We have a tremendous amount of investment opportunities in front of us that we are prioritizing... One of the reasons that I come to Australia is to see if Australia can be one of those."
- Liveris also remarks that he might consider retirement within the next two years.
Thu, May 28, 6:42 PM
- Benchmark propane prices are trading below $0.40/gal for the first time in more than a decade, vs. a 2014 average price of $1.04, as current propane inventories are 89% higher than their 20-year average for this time of the year, Goldman Sachs' Ronald Koort says, noting "real concerns" that the U.S. will run out of storage capacity before October 2015.
- The analyst thinks that's good news for Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), as the drop in propane prices will stimulate increased use as a petrochemical feedstock for ethylene production, and propane is used for ~40% of Dow's U.S. feedslate.
- Noting that Dow consumes 2B-plus gal/year of propane in the U.S. - meaning that a $0.10/gal shift in propane costs could reduce its costs by $200M/year - Koort raises his 2015, 2016 and 2017 EPS for Dow to a respective $3.03, $4.09 and $4.70 from his earlier projections of $2.96, $3.95 and $4.55.
Thu, May 14, 8:12 AM
Wed, May 13, 2:15 PM
- DuPont (DD -6%) remains sharply lower after Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management lost its proxy fight and failed to get any of its nominees elected to the company's board, and Citigroup analysts agree that it's not good news.
- Although Trian lost, Citi thinks DuPont will be under greater shareholder scrutiny going forward even though the result was a big win for CEO Ellen Kullman and management, with cost reductions and share repurchases taking the primary focus in the near-term.
- DuPont also "may have to play more offense" in agriculture after spending the last several months playing defense in the proxy battle; the firm says it sees logic in combining DD's and Dow Chemical's (NYSE:DOW) ag businesses.
- Trian may not be patient and may exit its position over time, offering a potential overhang on DD shares, Citi says.
Wed, May 6, 9:25 PM
- Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) is defending its CEO against allegations that he misspent company funds, saying his expenses had been investigated and any issues resolved several years ago.
- The allegations were initially raised in whistleblowing lawsuits brought by a former employee who said Dow had retaliated against her for raising questions about spending by CEO Andrew Liveris; she settled with Dow in February on terms that have not been disclosed.
- Today, Reuters reported that more former Dow employees, including the company’s top auditor, had raised questions about improper expenditures by Liveris; Dow says the article is "an attempt to sensationalize and personalize matters that were thoroughly investigated... and were long since found to be appropriately resolved."
Wed, May 6, 9:24 PM
- Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) issued a strong defense of CEO Andrew Liveris after investigating allegations the exec misspent company funds.
- The accusations first became public in whistleblower lawsuits filed against Dow.
- Liveris has also felt some heat from activist investors over the last year, including Third Point which is calling for a spinoff of the commodity business.
Tue, May 5, 5:56 PM
- Westlake Chemicals (NYSE:WLK) and Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) fell sharply today after the IRS proposed new rules that would bar chemical manufacturers from forming MLPs but allow many energy-related companies to use the structure to raise money.
- Pipeline operators and other energy logistics firms have long structured themselves as MLPs to raise capital; newer partnerships, such as those that find and extract oil and natural gas or refine it into fuel also still would be allowed, as would many oilfield services providers that haul, treat, recycle or store the wastewater from oil and gas wells.
- But the IRS says petrochemical production does not qualify unless it is part of a larger refining operation, nor does production of timber products such as wood pulp and paper.
- In today's trade: WLK -5.2%, WLKP -9.9%, AXLL -3.6%, OLN -3.2%, DOW -0.5%.
Mon, May 4, 6:35 PM
- Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) fell 7.6% in today's trade, giving up some but not all of its 16% gain on Friday that was sparked by talk that Monsanto (NYSE:MON) had approached the company about a takeover.
- The biggest concern for regulatory approval may involve what would be an unprecedented market share in soybeans and corn seeds for the combined company, and analysts say SYT’s operations in those areas would appeal to a range of buyers including Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), DuPont (NYSE:DD), BASF (OTCQX:BASFY, OTCPK:BFFAF) and Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF, OTCPK:BAYRY).
- Colin Isaac of Atlantic Equities says the deal he always expected to happen is a DuPont purchase of Dow's agriculture unit; CEO Andrew Liveris has suggested Dow is open to divesting the unit, and MON's becoming a much stronger competitor after an SYT takeover could be a catalyst for Dow to more seriously consider exiting the business, which Issac says would be prime pickings for DuPont and its Pioneer seed business.
- A $19.5B bid by DuPont for Dow’s ag sciences business could generate a 7% return on invested capital, according to a report by Laurence Alexander at Jefferies, while adding that such a move is less likely until agricultural markets improve from current trough levels.
DOW vs. ETF Alternatives
Dow Chemical Co is as an integrated science and technology company. The Company operates in five segments: Agricultural Sciences, Consumer Solutions, Infrastructure Solutions, Performance Materials & Chemicals and Performance Plastics.
Other News & PR