DuPont (DD) doubled its profit in the fourth quarter, as the company benefited from significant revenue growth in its agriculture segment.
The chemicals and agriculture giant also announced on Tuesday a $5 billion stock buyback. DuPont said it plans to repurchase $2 billion in 2014, while the rest will be repurchased over time. The new buyback replaces the company’s previous one.
DuPont reported net income of $185 million, or 20 cents a share, compared to a year-ago profit of $92 million, or nine cents a share. Excluding one-time items, operating earnings climbed to 59 cents from 20 cents.
Net sales were up 5.8% at $7.75 billion, just short of Wall Street expectations for $7.78 billion. DuPont beat on the bottom line, with analysts looking for 55 cents a share.
DuPont has turned its attention to higher growth businesses like agriculture, moving away from commodity-based units.
Last year, the Wilmington, Del.-based company said it would spin off its performance chemicals business, which produces materials used in house paint. DuPont also agreed in November to sell its glass laminating and vinyl business to Kuraray for $543 million.
In the fourth quarter, DuPont’s agriculture business set the pace with revenue of $1.81 billion, up 18% year-over-year. Performance chemicals sales rose 2% to $1.62 billion, and performance materials improved 3% to $1.58 billion.
The company projected operating earnings of $4.20 to $4.45 a share for fiscal 2014. Analysts were recently anticipating $4.31 a share.
Shares edged 1.1% higher to $60.90 in pre-market trading.