DuPont to cut 1,500 jobs as economies worsen

Reuters

DuPont reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and announced 1,500 job cuts as part of a cost savings program designed to offset falling sales around the world.

Shares of the chemical company fell 6 percent in premarket trading.

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The move by DuPont, a member of the Dow Jones industrial average and the maker of Kevlar bulletproof fiber and Corian countertops, marks one of the more extreme reactions to slipping demand and global economic uncertainty so far in this earnings season.

DuPont's sales fell 9 percent to $7.4 billion in the third quarter, while analysts on average had expected $8.15 billion. Demand fell most sharply in Asia and Europe, hurt by higher prices for titanium dioxide paint pigment and solar panel parts.

The company posted net income of $10 million, or a penny per share, compared with $452 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, DuPont earned 32 cents per share, while analysts on average had expected 46 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company plans to lay off 1,500 workers around the world - about 2 percent of its 70,000-person workforce - in the next 12 to 18 months as part of a restructuring plan it hopes will save about $450 million.

DuPont expects to earn $3.25 to $3.30 per share this year, below the $3.93 that Wall Street has forecast.

Shares of DuPont were down 6 percent at $46.77 in trading before the market opened.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

(This story corrects to show revised I/B/E/S earnings comparison)