Dow Chemical Co.'s stock surged 7.4% in premarket trade, after the chemical and agrosciences company beat third-quarter profit expectations, raised its dividend and said it planned to accelerate its share repurchase program. Earnings rose to $1.29 billion, or $1.09 a share, from $852 million, or 71 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Operating earnings per share came in at 82 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 69 cents. Revenue fell to $12.04 billion from $14.41 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $12.36 billion, amid lower pricing and unfavorable currency moves. The company said it was increasing its quarterly dividend 10% to 46 cents a share, payable Jan. 29 to shareholders of record on Dec. 31. Dow said it will accelerate its three-year, $5 billion stock buyback program, by repurchasing $1 billion worth of its stock in the fourth quarter and the rest in 2016. "We are operating from a position of financial strength as we continue to execute disciplined portfolio management, as well as start up our large growth investments on the U.S. Gulf Coast and in Saudi Arabia," said Chief Executive Andrew Liveris. The stock has gained 4.1% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has lost 1.9%.
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