DuPont seed sales not enough to offset other losses
Record earnings in E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.’s agriculture and nutrition division, which includes Johnston-based Pioneer Hi-bred International Inc., were not enough to offset declines in DuPont’s other business segments in the second quarter.
The company’s net income was $417 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with $1.078 billion, or $1.18 per share, in the second quarter of 2008. The decline was due to lower sales volumes, restructuring charges and adverse currency impact.
Combined sales volumes in DuPont’s coatings and color technologies, electronic and communication technologies, performance materials, and safety and protection segments were down more than 25 percent from 2008.
Earnings also were affected by a 15-cent-per-share charge for significant items, including a $340 million restructuring charge. DuPont said it is more than halfway toward achieving its year-end goal of reducing fixed costs by $1 billion.
Year-to-date capital expenditures were about $700 million; the company has a full-year target of $1.4 billion.
Meanwhile, DuPont’s agriculture and nutrition division’s pre-tax operating income increased 15 percent to a record $580 million, primarily from a 21 percent increase in seed sales, reflecting price increases and North America market share gains.
Raw material, energy and freight costs adjusted for currency and volume were 5 percent lower from 2008, adding a $225 million benefit in the quarter.
The company affirmed its 2009 earnings outlook range of $1.70 to $2.10 per share, excluding significant items. It expects weak demand across its main markets other than agriculture, with gradual improvement from current recessionary levels during the rest of 2009.