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Dow Chemical


posted third-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, beating the

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate of 44 cents and in line with year-ago earnings.

The company said it was confident that it will achieve higher year-over-year earnings in 2000 despite volatile feedstock costs, currency fluctuations and potentially slower economic growth. Also, Dow Chemical is acquiring

Union Carbide


, which will help the company achieve its goal of increasing earnings by 10% a year.

Sales rose 17% to $5.51 billion from $4.69 billion.