DuPont misses revenue expectations
The company was particularly hurt by weakness and uncertainty in Europe.
DuPont (DD) shares fell 2% Tuesday to close at $47.74 after the company beat Wall Street expectations on profit but missed on revenue. DuPont also revised its full-year outlook.
The company reported a profit of $1.18 billion, or $1.25 a share, a 3% decrease from a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, profit of $1.48 per share beat analyst estimates of $1.46 a share. Sales rose 7% to $11 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $11.25 billion.
The company's weaker earnings could be attributed to a decrease in volume in its performance chemicals, electronics, and safety product segments. The company also saw decreased volume in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific.
The company was particularly hurt by weakness and uncertainty in Europe. Net sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa were $2.5 billion, a 2% decrease from the first quarter of 2012.
On a positive note, the agriculture segment accounted for a 15% increase in sales and 16% higher pre-tax operating income in the first half of 2012. These outcomes were a result of strong Northern hemisphere business performance for seed and crop production lines.
It will be interesting to see if DuPont's agricultural segment is affected by the drought that has struck the U.S. this summer. Agriculture sales accounted for $3 billion of the company's total sales of $11 billion.
DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said the company's agriculture, food and bioscience businesses performed well globally, and its advanced materials businesses achieved solid results despite slower growth in some key markets and continued weakness in Europe.
DuPont reaffirmed its outlook for full-year earnings in the range of $4.20 to $4.40 a share, but said it expects to be at the lower end of this range. It attributed those weaker expectations to the global economy, currency issues and a high tax rate. DuPont seems to be taking a more cautious approach for the second half of 2012.
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