DuPont Lowers 2Q, Fiscal 2014 Earnings Outlook; Stock Dives

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DuPont (NYSE:DD) lowered its operating earnings outlook for the second quarter and fiscal 2014 today citing the reason that the quarterly results of its agriculture and performance chemical segments would be lesser than anticipated.

DuPont Lowers 2Q, Fiscal 2014 Earnings Outlook; Stock Dives

Following the release of its revised outlook the second quarter and fiscal 2014 operating earnings, the stock price of DuPont dropped more than 2% to $66.30 per share during the extended hours trading on Thursday.

DuPont’s revised outlook

DuPont now expects its second quarter operating earnings outlook to be moderate below the $1.28 it earned in the year-ago quarter. The weakness led the company to reduce its full year operating earning outlook in the ranges $4 to $4.10 per share.

“While 2014 is a transition year in agriculture, the revisions to the outlook we made today do not meet the expectations we set for our agriculture segment,” said Ellen Kullman, Chairperson and CEO of E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD) in a statement.

In addition, Kullman said, “We have a strong global market position, and a rich pipeline and we will make the necessary changes so that we return to our five-year track record of delivering reliable, attractive growth our shareholders expect from this segment.”

Agriculture segment

According to the company, the revised outlook represent weaker corn seed sales, and higher than expected seed inventory write-downs for its agriculture segment.

DuPont said its soybean volume would be higher than estimated amid the ongoing transition of its soybean lineup to newer, higher-performing products. It also reflects a lower than anticipated sales of crop protection herbicide primarily caused by weather.

Performance chemicals segment

DuPont said the second quarter results of its performance chemicals segment was negatively affected by lower than expected selling price of refrigerants and stationary applications.

DuPont’s redesign efforts

DuPont revealed more details regarding its previously announced plan to restructure its more focused portfolio of businesses after the separation of its performance chemicals segment by mid-2015.

According to the company, its redesigned initiative would deliver near-term savings, create lower-cost systems environment and define new sources of savings. “We have a unique opportunity now to reset our operating model to optimize both our effectiveness and efficiency, consistent with the purpose, strategy and needs of DuPont in 2015 and beyond,” said Kullman.

For the second quarter, DuPont estimated that it would record a restructuring charge of approximately $270 million pre-tax or $0.20 per share after-tax related to its first move under the redesign initiative.

Kullman said all of its efforts would contribute at least $1 billion in savings by the end of 2019 from a baseline last year— two-thirds by the end of 2015 on run-rate basis. He added that the final third will happen in 2016 and 2019.

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