DuPont (NYSE:DD) suffered a 10% decline in third-quarter profits, but the chemical giant beat Wall Streetâ€™s expectations and hiked its 2010 view.
The Wilmington, Del. blue-chip company said it earned $367 million, or 40 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $409 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting EPS of just 34 cents.
DuPont said its sales climbed 18% last quarter to $7.07 billion, besting estimates for $6.76 billion in revenue. Volumes grew by 14% last quarter. However, operating margin slid from 6.4% to 4.7%.
â€œDuPont's market focus and science-based innovations helped drive outstanding sales growth, with all business segments and regions contributing. Our deep customer engagement and disciplined execution are gaining traction toward achieving our long-term growth targets," CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement.
Looking ahead, DuPont raised its 2010 non-GAAP EPS view to $3.10, up from a previous range of $2.90 to $3.05. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had been looking for 2010 EPS of $3.04.
DuPont grew sales of performance chemicals, its largest segment, by 26% last quarter to $1.7 billion, compared with a 21% rise for performance materials sales to $1.6 billion. Safety and protection sales jumped 30% to $900 million and electronics and communications revenue climbed 30% to $700 million.
DuPontâ€™s stock had little reaction to the earnings beat and raised guidance, sinking 0.31% to $47.55 Tuesday morning. The bar had been raised high ahead of earnings, with DuPontâ€™s stock soaring 41% on the year.