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Dow Launches POWERCORE in Argentina

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Dow AgroSciences, the wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company , announced the launch of its herbicide tolerant and insect-resistant POWERCORE maize in Argentina. It is the first product to be approved in Argentina and will be available both in Argentina and Brazil.

POWERCORE contains five genes stacked in corn for increasing its productivity. It will boost corn yield between 5% and 10% depending on the technological capabilities and weather conditions. With the introduction of POWERCORE, the Argentinean growers will get access to high yielding hybrids and their refuge area will be reduced to 5% from 10%.

Michigan-based Dow is a leading chemical company, whose products are used across a broad spectrum of industries. The company posted earnings of 55 cents a share in the second quarter of 2012, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 64 cents and significantly trailing the year-ago earnings of 85 cents. Dow recorded a profit of $649 million in the quarter, a roughly 34% decline from the year-ago level due to weak economic conditions in Europe and soft demand.

Revenues tumbled 10% to $14,513 million, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $15,961 million. Sales fell across all segments except Agricultural Sciences, which has recorded double-digit revenue growth in the quarter. Revenues in Europe slid 10%, largely due to unfavorable currency movements.

The Agricultural Sciences segment registered record revenues of $1.7 billion, a 12% rise from the year-ago quarter. Volumes in the segment climbed 10% while prices rose 2%.

Looking ahead, Dow expects lower-than-expected recovery in the global economy in the second half of the year. The company plans to beef up cost reduction and efficiency programs to deal with the challenging macroeconomic environment.

The company faces stiff competition from EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. . Currently, the stock retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Hold rating.

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