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Dow Gets U.S. Patent for Enlist Corn

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The Dow Chemical Company’s (DOW) wholly-owned subsidiary, Dow AgroSciences, announced that it has received the U.S. patent for its 2,4-D herbicide tolerance event in corn.

The corn event is based on one of Dow AgroSciences' Enlist herbicide-tolerant traits. It provides strong tolerance to broadleaf and grass herbicides, including 2,4-D and the FOP family of herbicides.

The patent provides proprietary protection for corn plants containing the event and methods of using Enlist corn for controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds. Dow AgroSciences expects to launch Enlist corn in 2015 in the U.S. after receiving the pending approvals.

The patent for Enlist corn consolidates Dow’s leadership in trait technology. The company’s Enlist Weed Control System will enable farmers to control both broadleaf weeds and grasses in corn, and will provide them with new solutions to meet challenging weed control issues.

Dow released its third-quarter 2013 results on Oct 24. The company’s profit increased 20% year over year to $594 million or 49 cents a share in the quarter. This was driven by improved performances across agriculture, coatings and plastics businesses, and healthy gains from emerging markets.

Dow remains focused on attractive end-user markets and cutting exposure in non-strategic markets amid a challenging business environment. The company will persist with its cost reduction and efficiency programs while reducing debt, improving cash flows and maximizing shareholder returns.

However, Dow continues to face challenges in Western Europe due to soft economic conditions in the region. Moreover, while the electronics and construction end-markets have stabilized of late, they are still not out of the woods.

Dow currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked companies in the chemical industry include Asahi Kasei Corporation (AHKSY), Johnson Matthey plc. (JMPLY) and BASF SE (BASFY). While Asahi Kasei and Johnson Matthey have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), BASF holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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