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DuPont Net Down 3.2% amid Lower Volume

DuPont Co.'s (DD) second-quarter profit slid 3.2% as the chemical giant's higher sales were offset by lower volume and currency headwinds. The company said it expected full-year adjusted earnings to be toward the lower end of its range of $4.20 to $4.40 a share due to macroeconomic and currency-related uncertainty as well as a higher tax rate. DuPont, a diversified U.S. manufacturer, has received a boost from higher pricing in recent quarters, offsetting raw material expenses. The company's agricultural segment--its largest top line contributor--has also seen recent improvements. The company earlier this month reaffirmed its full-year and long-term outlook for titanium dioxide amid recent fears about weak demand in the pigment industry for the second half of the year. Australian rival Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU.AX) had cut its full-year sales volume outlook for titanium dioxide, a key pigment used to make paints, in a move that pressured stocks across the sector. Dupont reported a profit of $1.18 billion, or $1.25 a share, down from a year-earlier profit of $1.22 billion, or $1.29 a share. Adjusted earnings were $1.48 compared with $1.37. Net sales rose 7.2% to $11 billion as volume decreased 1% though prices were 6% higher than the year before. Currency headwinds also offset sales by 3%. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of $1.46 a share on revenue of $11.27 billion. DuPont's agricultural segment sales rose 13% on strong seed and crop protection sales. The company's performance materials segment saw a 2.6% decline in sales, while sales of performance coatings were down 1.5%. Sales in developing markets grew 11%. Shares closed Monday at $48.71 and were inactive in premarket trade. The stock is down 11% in the past year. Write to Victoria Stilwell at Victoria.Stilwell@dowjones.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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