DuPont (NYSE:DD) said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profits slipped 15%, but the company’s non-GAAP profit easily surpassed Wall Street’s hopes amid jumping sales.

Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont said it earned $376 million, or 40 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $441 million, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 50 cents a share, compared with consensus calls for just 32 cents.

Sales climbed 15% to $7.4 billion, well ahead of the Street’s view of $6.95 billion. Volumes rose 12% and local prices increased 6%. Developing market sales soared 24%.

“The fourth quarter was a strong finish to an outstanding year. We laid the groundwork for recovery in 2009 and executed with precision and effectiveness in 2010, meeting and often exceeding our business goals and financial commitments, some a full year early,” CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement.

Based on hopes for “continued steady global economic growth with increasing industrial production,” DuPont also hiked its 2011 EPS guidance to $3.45 to $3.75, up from $3.30 to $3.60 previously. The midpoint of the new range, $3.60, would top estimates for just $3.50.

DuPont’s best performing division was electronics & communications, which grew its sales by 33% to $800 million. Performance chemicals sales jumped 26% to $1.7 billion and agriculture & nutrition sales were up 13% to $1.5 billion.

Shares of DuPont rose 0.74% to $49.25 in Tuesday’s premarkets. The stock was down 2% on the year as of Monday’s close, but has soared nearly 50% from a year ago.