Boosted by a key price hike, DuPont (DD) revealed third-quarter results on Tuesday that easily exceeded Wall Street’s expectations and led the chemical giant to upgrade its 2011 financial guidance.

The Wilmington, Del.-based blue-chip company said it earned $452 million, or 48 cents a share, last quarter, up 23% from $367 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 69 cents a share, blowing past the Street’s view of 56 cents.

Revenue leaped 33% to $9.4 billion, significantly dwarfing consensus calls from analysts for $8.79 billion.

DuPont owes much of its growth to higher prices. While volumes only inched up 1%, prices jumped 15% last quarter.

“Despite turbulent global economic and market conditions, we delivered solid growth through innovative products and process technologies, disciplined execution and continued productivity gains," CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement. "Our portfolio is further strengthened by the rapid integration of Danisco, continued capacity expansions and selective growth investments across many of our businesses."  

The upbeat results led DuPont to increase its 2011 EPS view to a range of $3.97 to $4.05, up from $3.90 to $4.05 previously. Non-GAAP EPS is seen at $3.97 to $4.05, compared with the Street’s view of $3.96.

DuPont reported across-the-board sales growth last quarter, highlighted by a 41% leap in agriculture revenue to $1.4 billion and a 178% surge in nutrition and health sales to $800 million. Performance chemicals revenue grew 28% to $2.1 billion, while electronics and communications sales were up 20% to $800 million.

Despite beating the Street and boosting its guidance, DuPont’s stock didn’t enjoy a significant rally early on Tuesday. Ahead of the open, DuPont’s stock was up 0.78% to $46.45, putting them on pace to slightly eat into their 2011 decline of 7.6%.

 

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