NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Dow Chemical (DOW) are up 1.58% to $50.30 in pre-market trade after the chemical maker increased its dividend and said it would buy back shares worth $5 billion, more than doubling its share repurchase program, Reuters reports
Dow and rival Dupont (DD) are facing investor pressure to raise shareholder returns by divesting businesses that are exposed to swings in prices of commodities, Reuters noted.
Dow, which is being pushed by hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to split up, said it would complete its previous $4.5 billion share repurchase program by the end of the year.
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The latest buyback plan brings Dow's total share repurchase program to $9.5 billion.
The company also increased its quarterly dividend to 42 cents per share from 37 cents.
Dow, which has been paying cash dividends every quarter since 1912, said the dividend would be payable on Jan. 30 to shareholders on record as of Dec. 31.
Dow has narrowed its focus to packaging, electronics and agriculture and is looking to raise as much as $6 billion from asset sales, Reuters said.
The company also plans to cut fixed costs by $1 billion over the next three years.
TheStreet Ratings team rates DOW CHEMICAL as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: