Rank: 47 (Previous rank: 45)
CEO: Andrew N. Liveris
Was this company a 2011 top stock?
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Dow's Chemical's products touch so many parts of the industrial supply chain -- whether it has to do with electronics, construction materials, or pharmaceuticals -- that the company is a telling barometer for the world economy.
Economic instability in Europe and uncertain expectations in emerging markets have given this chemical giant some pause, but it still managed to post increased revenues and profits for 2011. In April of this year, however, Dow said that it would shutter four plants across its global operations and lay off 900 workers in an effort to cut costs.
But it's not all doom and gloom at Dow Chemical. In November, the company announced that it had signed a $20 billion joint venture agreement with state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco to build a massive chemical plant along the Persian Gulf in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. And it announced a 28% dividend bump for shareholders in April.