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Dow AgroSciences grows sales, earnings to new heights

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Record sales of seeds and new crop protection products helped boost Dow AgroSciences LLC revenue 14 percent in the first quarter, leading to record profit.

The Indianapolis-based maker of agricultural products, a unit of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., brought in $2.1 billion in revenue compared with $1.7 billion a year earlier.

Profit in the latest quarter totaled $484 million before accounting for interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. That was a 7-percent jump from $451 million a year earlier, Dow Chemical reported Thursday morning.

Sales of crop protection products swelled 7 percent, driven by gains in North America and Latin America. Sales of seeds, genetic traits and oils rocketed 37 percent, due in part to strong demand for the firm’s genetically modified SmartStax products.

On the whole, Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker by sales, posted first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as lower prices for natural gas increased earnings from plastics.

Net income climbed 28 percent to $635 million, or 46 cents a share, from $497 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier, Dow reported.

Profit excluding a tax charge and other one-time items was 69 cents a share, topping the 61-cent average of 16 estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.

Company-wide sales declined to $14.4 billion from $14.7 billion in the first quarter of 2012, missing the $14.9 billion average of 12 estimates.

Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris is selling Dow’s least profitable units, cutting jobs, closing plants and deferring investments to counter slower global economic growth.

Lower costs for raw materials derived from gas and oil helped increased profit in performance plastics, Dow’s largest business, Liveris said Thursday.

“They beat [estimates] primarily because of continuing trends in agriculture and performance plastics,” Hassan Ahmed, a New York-based analyst at Alembic Global Advisors, told Bloomberg News on Thursday. “There are some early signs of recovery in electronics as well.”

Dow shares rose more than 4 percent to $33.60 in early trading Thursday. The shares are little changed this year.
 

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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