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Dow Agro posts record fourth quarter profit

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Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences on Thursday reported record fourth quarter and annual revenue on strong sales of new products and above-average growing seasons.

Fourth-quarter revenue grew 5 percent, to more than $1.3 billion, compared with the same period in 2010. For the entire year, sales increased to $5.7 billion.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $145 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, a fourth-quarter record and double the $72 million reported for the 2010 period.

The company, a unit of Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co., reported sales and volume gains in all geographic areas, led by Latin America.

Dow Chemical, meanwhile, posted a loss in the fourth-quarter because of a one-time charge that caused it to pay higher taxes at its Brazilian operations.

Shares fell nearly 3 percent in trading before the opening bell.

The nation's largest chemical maker reported a loss of $20 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with a year-ago profit of $426 million, or 37 cents per share. Excluding a charge of 27 cents per share, Dow would have earned 25 cents per share in the quarter.

Revenue rose 2 percent, to $14.1 billion.
 

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