Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dow Chemical Keeps Plodding Along and Silencing Critics

Dow Chemical has posted another good quarter of results and that goodness again included the plastics segment. You may recall that just over 3 months ago, Daniel Loeb, an activist investor, took up a nice share in the company and got the attention of Dow’s CEO, Andrew Liveris by writing an open letter stating that the plastics segment was a huge drag on Dow’s stock and should be sold off.

YOU get a new plastic and YOU get a new plastic - YOU ALL get new plastic!
Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical
Timing can often be everything, and it was so in that case. A week later, Dow announced a huge increase in sales and profits, led by – you guess it – the plastics segment. I would have thought Mr. Loeb would be busy wiping egg off his face, but he apparently was still able to meet with Liveris several times. After this quarter’s repeat performance, Liveris stated during the conference call with Wall Street analysts that Loeb had helped the company realize that increased “transparency” was a good thing, but as for selling off the plastics segment, that is still a no-go.

I take this as Dow being intelligently diplomatic, allowing Loeb to save some face in the public eye. A smart choice, even though it would have been tempting to follow this up with some strong taunting. As David Frost said, "Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way." I suspect that Dow is now hoping that Loeb will quietly slink away into the night, taking whatever profit with him that he “earned”. I can’t imagine that Liveris will be granting him another audience anytime soon.

Previous Years
April 30, 2012 - Another Set of Rants about a Rejected SBIR Grant

April 30, 2010 - Natureworks

April 30, 2010 - This Changes Everything!

April 30, 2009 - Skip the ER for potential heart attacks and find a spectroscopist instead

April 30, 2009 - This isn't even peer-reviewed

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