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Dow's Sulfoxaflor OK'd in the U.S.

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The Dow Chemical Company’s (DOW) fully-owned subsidiary Dow AgroSciences LLC has received approval from the U.S. regulatory authorities to market its new insecticidal active ingredient, Sulfoxaflor, as Transform and Closer.

Sulfoxaflor registrations in the U.S. and Canada were accomplished after a Global Joint Review which also included Australia. Countries which have already registered sulfoxaflor are South Korea, Panama, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Australian sulfoxaflor registration is expected by third-quarter 2013. In addition to this, other global registrations are anticipated in the near future.

Sulfoxaflor falls under the Dow AgroSciences invented novel chemical class, sulfoximines. Sulfoxaflor is uniquely designed to exhibit effective control over many important sap-feeding harmful insect pests. It also holds exclusive features that make it distinct from other sap-feeding insecticides by providing an innovative new tool for farmers in the years to come.

Sulfoxaflor can be applied in a large variety of crops including cotton, soybean, citrus, pome/stone fruit, nuts, grapes, potatoes, vegetables and strawberries. Sulfoxaflor is an exemplary introduction to the Integrated Pest Management programs. The tool fits perfectly into growers’ existing programs to help them protect yields in a wide variety of foods and fiber crops globally.

Dow AgroSciences had successfully launched Sulfoxaflor in South Korea in 2012 and received a U.S. Section 18 Emergency Use Label in cotton, which resulted in positive market reactions.

Dow posted its first-quarter 2013 results last month. The company posted a profit of $550 million or 46 cents a share, a roughly 33% rise from $412 million or 35 cents a share earned a year ago. Profits soared on the strength in the agriculture science business, which witnessed record sales of seeds and crop protection products.

Barring one-time items (including charges associated with tax adjustments and a loss on early extinguishment of debt), Dow earned 69 cents a share in the quarter, up from 61 cents a year ago. That comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents.

Dow will focus on organically growing its attractive businesses and driving earnings, leveraging its feedstock strength. The company will also continue to pursue its cost reduction and efficiency programs while reducing debt and maximizing shareholder returns. However, Dow does not see a material improvement in the macroeconomic environment this year.

Dow currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

Other companies in the chemical industry having favorable Zacks Rank are Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (SHECY), Celanese Corporation (CE) and Methanex Corporation (MEOH). While Shin-Etsu Chemical retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Celanese and Methanex hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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