NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Dow Chemical (DOW) - Get Report were lower in early-afternoon trading on Wednesday ahead of the agricultural and chemical manufacturer's 2016 third quarter earnings.

Before Thursday's market open, analysts surveyed by FactSet expect Dow to post adjusted earnings of 79 cents per share on revenue of $11.93 billion.

In the same quarter last year, the Midland, MI-based company reported adjusted earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $12.04 billion.

Dow is currently working to gain regulatory approval for its $130 billion proposed merger with chemical company DuPont (DD).

DuPont said yesterday that while the companies won't close the deal by their initial goal of the end of 2016, DuPont anticipates that the transaction will close in the 2017 first quarter.

Nomura said today that the companies remain the firm's "top long-term ideas" in the large-cap chemical segment due to their synergy-driven earnings and free cash flow increases.

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"The deal offers an opportunity to compound capital over the next two to three years in a growth-starved world," the firm added.

The firm has a "buy" rating and $62 price target on Dow shares.

(Dow Chemical is held in Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of his holding with a free trialhere.)

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated Dow stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

TheStreet Ratings rated this stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: DOW

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