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DuPont’s EPS Drops During Q4 2012

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Jan. 24, 2013—DuPont’s earnings per share (EPS) dropped during the fourth quarter of 2012, largely due to slumping sales performance in its performance chemicals and materials business segments, which includes automotive refinish.

According to DuPont’s 2012 earnings report, the company’s earnings per share fell to 11 cents during the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to 26 cents during the same period of the prior year.

According to the report, the company generated sales of $7.3 billion during the fourth quarter of 2012, equal to its sales performance during the fourth quarter of 2011. DuPont’s sales performance increased for several business segments compared to the prior year, including agriculture by 18 percent, industrial biosciences by 4 percent, nutrition and health by 6 percent, and safety and protection by 2 percent.

However, DuPont experienced sales reductions in three business segments during the fourth quarter of 2012, including a 1 percent reduction for electronics and communications, 15 percent for performance chemicals, and 5 percent for performance materials.

According to DuPont, the sales reductions were primarily caused by weak demand for fluoropolymers in the U.S. and Europe, pressure in the titanium dioxide market—a material used for paint, and softness in the industrial and electronics markets.

Overall, DuPont experienced growth in sales performance during the full year of 2012. The company generated sales of $34.8 billion, a 3 percent increase compared to 2011. The company expects sales in 2013 to reach $36 billion.

“DuPont stands stronger today than it did a year ago. Our segments delivered innovation, productivity and integration cost synergies. This, coupled with a record year in new product introductions, has strengthened our market position," said Ellen Kullman, chair and CEO of DuPont. "However, weakness in markets served by performance chemicals and electronics and communications provided significant challenges in 2012. We've adjusted our plans to meet the changing market environment and grow our businesses in a slow-growth world economy."

In August 2012, Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group entered into a definitive agreement to purchase DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC) from DuPont for $4.9 billion. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013. For more information about DuPont's sale of DCP and its impact on the repair industry, read FenderBender's October 2012 story.

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