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Dow AgroSciences, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company (DOW - Analyst Report), along with Dow Chemical inaugurated a new research and development facility at the AgroSciences headquarters in Indianapolis.

The new 175,000 square foot facility is part of a global growth plan for the development and commercialization of new crop protection and seed, traits and oils products. The facility includes both office and lab configurations that foster the company’s safety culture. The facility has been opened with an aim to receive certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Dow AgroSciences’ new facility will support activity for more than 200 research scientists. The facility is a part of Dow AgroSciences’ plan made in 2010 that also included the construction of a new 14,000 square foot greenhouse, and the addition of more than 550 scientific and commercial jobs by 2015.

The opening of the facility also demonstrated Dow AgroSciences’ commitment to life sciences in Ind. The facility will also boost economic and agricultural sectors and will provide high tech jobs in the state.
Dow Chemical released its fourth-quarter 2012 results on Jan 31, 2013.

The company reported a wider loss of 61 cents a share in the quarter compared with a loss of 2 cents in the fourth quarter of 2011, due to hefty restructuring and goodwill impairment charges. Dow Chemical’s adjusted earnings of 33 cents a share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Weak end-market conditions and lower pricing affected sales in the quarter. However, Dow Chemical’s agricultural business was a bright spot, with sales increasing at a double-digit rate. Dow Chemical is benefiting from strong fundamentals in agriculture and food markets and is leveraging its North American feedstock advantage.

Dow Chemical retains a short-term (1 to 3 months) Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical industry that are worth considering include Olin Corp. (OLN - Snapshot Report), Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY) and Axiall Corp (AXLL - Snapshot Report). While Olin retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Akzo and Axiall hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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