- On Tuesday, Rohm & Haas (ROH) reported that its net income fell 82% year over year due to falling demand for its products and high costs associated with firing employees in order to downsize. Rohm & Haas was deemed a wunderkind of the chemical business nine months ago when Dow Chemical agreed to purchase the firm for $15.3 billion. Rohm's latest filings suggest that the acquisition could be tough to swallow for Dow Chemical in the current economic environment.
- Dow Chemical was also dragged into a new lawsuit on Tuesday -- thistime by one of its own investors. Michael D. Blum is demanding that Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris be fired for allegedly mismanaging the proposed merger with Rohm & Haas. It also demands that monetary damages be paid by some of Dow Chemical's board members.
- On Thursday, Dow lost its bid in Delaware Chancery Court to remove the law firm that is representing Rohm & Haas in its ongoing dispute regarding the pending merger of the two firms.Dow said that Rohm's representing firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz has previously done work for Dow Chemical. Dow was concerned that the firm might reveal some secrets that could give Rohm & Haas an edge in its lawsuit as well as merger negotiations. Delaware Chancery Court Judge William B. Chandler III dismissed Dow's motion on Thursday.
- Also on Thursday, Dow cut its dividend 64% to 15 cents a share from 42 cents. Dow had long touted the value and dependability of its dividend to investors. Thursday's announcement broke Dow Chemical's streak of 389 consecutive dividend payments without a single reduction. While the announced cut is severe, it also holds s silver lining; some analysts have predicted that Dow would have to eliminate its dividend entirely because the floundering economy and its legal dispute with Rohm & Haas.
It's been a rough week for Dow Chemical ( DOW). Shares hit a new 52-week low of $9.53 on Friday, far below the firm's 52-week high of $43.43 May 16. Here is brief summary of the bad news that Dow shareholders had to contend with this past week: