DuPont Income Dives 98 Percent in Q3

Andrew Klips  |

After posting record earnings in the third quarter last year, DuPont Co. (DD) came-up short of matching those numbers this year as disclosed on Tuesday morning. The diversified manufacturer, whom makes products ranging paint material to Corian countertops to Kevlar fibers, saw a 98 percent drop in income, primarily because of one-time charges.

For the quarter, DuPont reported net income of $10 million, or 1 cent per share, as compared to $452 million, or 48 cents a share, in the year prior quarter. Excluding one-time items, which included $394 million in restructuring and impairment charges, per-share earnings were 44 cents, compared with 69 cents last year. Revenue decreased 9.2 percent in the latest quarter to $7.34 billion from $9.24 billion for the Wilmington, Delaware company.

Analysts were anticipating profit of 46 cents per share and revenue of $8.15 billion. Analyst predictions generally do not include one-time charges.

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DuPont, the most valuable U.S. chemical maker, also cut its outlook for the full year. The company now expects 2012 earnings in a range of $3.25 to $3.30 per share; down from its July view of $4.20 to $4.40 per share. 2011 earnings were $3.55 per share on a comparable basis.

The company is cutting 1,500 jobs globally in the next 12 to 18 months and “taking additional actions to improve competitiveness and accelerate market-driven innovation and growth by fine-tuning the organization, eliminating costs and expanding beyond our everyday focus on productivity," according to DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman. The company believes that its restructuring plans will generate a pre-tax savings of about $450 million.

"We continue to execute well in many parts of the company, and certain segments are outperforming despite market volatility. Weaker than expected demand in titanium dioxide and photovoltaic markets contributed to the decline from last year's record third-quarter earnings. We are addressing these challenges now to position ourselves for improved performance,” said Kullman in a statement.

Shares of DD are off 2012 highs of $53.08 each, but still have tracked higher by nearly 12 percent this year with Monday’s close at $49.76. Shares are trading more than 5 percent lower at $47.10 in early pre-market activity on very light volume.

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