DuPont's 2Q Surpasses Street's Expectations

Chemical maker DuPont (NYSE:DD) revealed second-quarter results on Thursday that exceeded expectations, prompting the blue-chip company to upgrade its 2011 profit outlook.

Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont said it earned $1.22 billion, or $1.29 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $1.16 billion, or $1.26 a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items such as acquisition-related expenses, it earned $1.37, topping consensus calls by three cents.

Revenue jumped 19% to $10.26 billion, solidly beating the Streets view of $9.86 billion. Volumes inched up 2%, while prices grew by 11%.

Our strong second-quarter sales growth across all segments and regions resulted from consistent global execution and customer-focused innovation," CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement.

Even as many economic and political concerns persist, DuPont upgraded its non-GAAP 2011 view to $3.90 to $4.05, which compares very favorably to consensus calls for $3.87. Previously, DuPont forecasted EPS of $3.65 to $3.85.

We are increasing our earnings outlook for 2011 based on strong performance yearto-date and confidence in our business plans for the second half of the year, Kullman said.

Part of the more bullish guidance can be chalked up to its acquisition of Danish food ingredients and enzymes company Danisco, which it now sees cutting its 2011 EPS by just 18 to 29 cents, compared with 30 to 45 cents previously.

Shares of DuPont gained 1.21% to $52.91 Thursday morning, giving them a 2011 return of 4.8%.

DuPont, which is the No. 3 U.S. chemical company, posted sales growth across the board, led by a 28% surge in Latin America to $900 million and a 26% leap in Asia Pacific to $2.3 billion. Sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa jumped 22% to $2.6 billion, while U.S. revenue grew by a solid 14% to $4.1 billion.

All of DuPonts business segments also showed growth, including a 64% rise in nutrition and health sales to $500 million and a 36% rise in electronics and communications to $900 million. Agriculture, its largest group by revenue, posted a 10% gain in sales to $3 billion.