Dow Chemical (DOW) - Get Report is usually known for its product innovation and biological sciences. But with an 18% decline in its share price in the past month, it is now known for frustrating investors.
This decline comes only five weeks after Dow's stock closed at an all-time high of $56.47, surging on the news of its merger with rivalE. I. du Pont (DD) - Get Report . Dow stock currently trades around $42.
The Midland, Mich.-based company, which last year promised to return value to its shareholders, reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2015 earnings results ahead of the opening bell Tuesday. As the merger discussions with DuPont continue, investors want to know if the selloff is a buying opportunity. Currently Dow pays a dividend with a 4.45% yield.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer certainly sees it that way. Dow is a holding in his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS.
"You own Dow for the merger and the dividend" until the merger is completed, Cramer said Wednesday. "Then watch (current DuPont CEO) Ed Breen work his magic."
Dow is on Cramer's bear-market shopping list and he's "itching to buy more." He sees a $60 price target and thinks investors are driven by too much fear of the stock's short-term performance.
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For the quarter, analysts expect earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $11.22 billion, compared to the year-ago quarter when it earned 85 cents a share on $14.38 billion in revenue. For the full year, earnings are projected to climb 5.4% to $3.28 a share, while full-year revenue of $48.54 billion would mark a decline of 16.5% from the year-ago quarter.
The stock has a consensus buy rating and an average analyst 12-month price target of $57. Investors are ignoring how quickly Dow has shed its commoditized business of turning oil and natural gas into basic chemicals and has begun to focus more on higher-margin businesses.
Dow closed the split-off transaction of its chlorine and downstream derivatives business and completed its merger with Missouri-based Olin (OLN) - Get Report , creating a market leader with some $7 billion in potential revenue. In addition, Dow is well ahead of its goal to divest between $7 billion to $8.5 billion of low-margin/non-core assets by the middle of 2016.
In short, putting the merger with DuPont aside, Dow Chemical has become more profitable and also easier to understand thanks to its recent moves. While uncertainty about the DuPont merger might have scared off some investors, new investors shouldn't underestimate the company's long-term earnings growth capabilities, nor discount that 4.45% dividend yield.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.