DuPont 3rd-Quarter Surges 40% on Improved Agriculture Sales
Diversified chemicals manufacturer E.I. DuPont & Co. (NYSE: DD – $60.17) reported favorable third-quarter results, with sales of $7.7 billion and share earnings of $0.45 vs. last year’s $0.32 per share on $7.39 billion in revenue. Earnings were four cents ahead of Street expectations. The quarter’s top line benefited from favorable volume growth, despite a moderate decline in prices. Excluding Performance Chemicals, all operating segments posted increased operating earnings versus last year. Performance Materials, Electronics & Communications, Safety & Protection and Industrial Biosciences had double-digit earnings growth reflecting higher volumes and improved margins. The company continues to expect full-year operating earnings of about $3.85 per share, providing a price earnings ratio of 15.6, in line with DuPont’s historical median. EPS of $4.25 is possible for 2014, barring any unforeseen economic turbulence in DuPont’s worldwide markets. DD is trading at an all-time high point, but over the long-term, solid growth for the company to late decade provides room to grow further, in my opinion. DuPont remains well positioned in the markets that it serves and management has a good track record for directing resources to businesses with attractive growth potential. The current yield of 3% provides for intriguing total return potential for conservative income-oriented accounts.