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Dow Launches New Technologies

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Dow Electronic Unit, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (DOW), recently announced two new technologies for leading-edge semiconductor and printed circuit board (:PCB) manufacturing. The company also announced that it has advanced with its extreme ultraviolet (:EUV) lithography development efforts.

Dow launched its first two polishing pad families under its new IKONIC chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) pad platform. The IKONIC pads are specifically designed to provide the best performance for the broadest range of CMP applications at or below the 28 nm technology node. The IKONIC pad platform comprise a number of products that provide numerous benefits in copper, tungsten, Inter-Layer-Dielectric (:ILD), Shallow-Trench-Isolation (STI) and other polishing applications.

The pads improve performance of higher wafer yields and help extend the pad lifetime, leading to greater tool uptime. They are instrumental in enhancing planarization efficiency and wafer topography. These pads also comply with the removal rate targets for throughput gains and selectivity requirements to address process needs.

The IKONIC pads platform addresses the ever-changing technological needs. The pads are expected to hit the market in 2013 and are available for sampling presently.

Dow also introduced two new MICROFILL copper plating products that enhance the performance of high density interconnect (:HDI) and IC substrate PCBs. MICROFILL products provide technologies that develop miniaturization of next generation devices.
Dow has also developed extreme ultraviolet (:EUV) lithography to meet the size and performance requirements of next generation mobile devices.

Last month, Dow released its third quarter 2012 results. The company earned 42 cents a share in the quarter, which is lower than 62 cents (all excluding special items) in the year–ago quarter. However, earnings in the quarter topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 37 cents.

Dow’s profits tumbled 39% year over year to $497 million as lower pricing dragged down its sales in the quarter. The company also witnessed weak demand for its products in the quarter, largely stemming from the recessionary conditions in Europe.  

Revenues slipped 9.7% (or 7% on an adjusted basis) year over year to $13,637 million in the quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $14,130 million. Sales fell across all segments except Agricultural Sciences, which was the only bright spot in the quarter. Revenues in Europe slid 10% largely due to unfavorable currency translation.

The company competes with EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD) and currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank that translates to a short-term (1 to 3 months) Hold rating. We currently have a long-term (more than 6 months) Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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