Rohm & Haas


saw its profit plunge in the fourth quarter, sent lower by charges.

The specialty-chemicals maker earned $32 million, or 17 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $180 million, or 91 cents per share, a year ago.

The Philadelphia-based company, which is locked in a legal battle with

Dow Chemical

(DOW) - Get Report

, which wants to delay the companies' merger, recorded one-time charges of 52 cents per share, the bulk of which -- 41 cents -- was attributed to a corporate restructuring first announced last month.

The special items also include 8 cents per share in costs associated with the proposed merger and 3 cents per share in costs resulting from the impact of hurricanes.

Excluding those items, Rohm & Haas earned 69 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected EPS of 67 cents on revenue of $2.23 billion, not counting items. Sales fell 13% to $2.03 billion from $2.34 billion.

"We took proactive steps throughout 2008 to remain competitive despite the challenges of a slowing economy, and our performance reflects these efforts," said Raj L. Gupta, chairman and chief executive officer.

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