US Dow raises dividend to 32 cents, approaches pre-crisis level

12 April 2012 22:54  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based Dow Chemical increased its dividend by 28% to 32 cents/share, the company said on Thursday, bringing it closer to its 42-cent level before a series of crises in 2009.

The dividend will be payable on 30 July to shareholders of record on 29 June, the company said.

Dow last increased its dividend in April 2011, when it rose by 67% to 25 cents/share from 15 cents/share.

Dow had lowered its dividend to 15 cents from 42 cents in 2009, following a series of crises hitting the company and the industry as a whole.

Dow was struggling with uncertain credit markets, unprecedented lower demand for chemical products, the global recession and what it called "pending business issues".

Specifically, Dow was intent on preserving its investment-grade rating.

Meanwhile, the company had just reached a settlement to acquire Rohm and Haas for $78/share.

By 12 February 2009, Dow's stock had dipped below $10.

Dow ultimately completed the Rohm and Haas deal, and its stock has since risen from the lows in 2009.

It closed on Thursday at $32.67, up 2.51%.

In announcing the higher dividend, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris said, “This increase demonstrates our board’s commitment to pursue a dividend policy that is reflective of a growth company long-term, and deploy cash against our three stated priorities – shareholder remuneration, debt paydown and organic investments in our portfolio.”

He added, “Looking ahead, we are confident in our ability to continue to achieve higher and more sustainable earnings, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to increasingly reward shareholders as we grow.”

By: Al Greenwood
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