Feb. 6, 2015, 7:57 AM
- Design flaws in the network of pipes and valves at DuPont's (NYSE:DD) plant in La Porte, Tex., led to the release of a toxic chemical that killed four workers in November, according to an investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.
- The workers were poisoned by exposure to methyl mercaptan, which is used to make insecticide produced at the plant.
- DuPont has been praised for safety by industry watchdogs, and the La Porte plant had a reputation for operating safely, but also was cited several times over the years by state regulators for chemical releases.
Feb. 5, 2015, 11:23 AM
- DuPont (DD +0.7%) appoints two new directors to its board with experience in corporate breakups and restructurings, a move that comes as it faces pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz to split itself up.
- Current Tyco chairman Edward Breen and former LyondellBasell CEO James Gallogly will join the board effective immediately; Breen's experience with TYC includes overseeing two break-ups of the company, and Gallogly led LYB through a bankruptcy process and a restructuring.
- Two current directors are transitioning off the DuPont board to eventually serve as directors at Chemours Co., DuPont’s performance chemicals business that is being spun off.
- DuPont says Peltz's Trian Fund refused any proposals that did not include Peltz himself joining the board.
- Shares have been halted for the past hour.
Feb. 3, 2015, 4:37 PM
- DuPont (NYSE:DD) has interviewed Trian Fund's slate of directors, including its founder Nelson Peltz, Reuters reports, in a step that could lead to a compromise with the activist investment firm.
- Trian announced last month its intent to nominate Peltz and three others to DuPont's board; while DD has said it would review the nominations, the interviews would represent the first sign that the company is moving to assess their candidacy.
Jan. 30, 2015, 8:13 AM
- DuPont (NYSE:DD) is cutting 2014 bonuses and delaying 2015 salary increases until July 1, Bloomberg reports quoting an internal memo distributed on Tuesday.
- "We set our targets and objectives, and our compensation is tied to the achievement of those targets," CEO Ellen Kullman said in the memo. "It is important to recognize that in 2014, we did not meet all of our targets."
- Meanwhile, Moody's has placed the ratings of the company under review for downgrade, citing expectations that it will return substantially all of the one-time dividend proceeds from the spinoff of its Performance Chemicals business to shareholders.
- "DuPont is effectively increasing its leverage by returning all or substantially all of $4B in proceeds from Chemours to shareholders," said Moody's analyst James Wilkins.
Jan. 29, 2015, 2:37 PM
- E. I. du Pont de Nemours (NYSE:DD) declares $0.47/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
- Forward yield 2.6%
- Payable March 13; for shareholders of record Feb. 13; ex-div Feb. 11.
Jan. 27, 2015, 7:25 AM
- Net income of $683M vs. $185M in the same quarter a year ago. Operating earnings per share of $0.71 vs. $0.59 per share last year.
- Net sales fell 5% to $7.38B, primarily due to portfolio changes and negative currency impacts.
- DuPont (NYSE:DD) says it will still reach its goal of $1B in cost reductions by 2015 and would now aim for $1.3B in overall savings by 2017.
- The company also expects to buy back up to $4B in shares using the dividend from the spinoff of its performance chemicals business.
- DuPont gave a disappointing outlook for 2015 due to a significant hit from the strengthening dollar, and expects to post per-share earnings of $4.00-$4.20 for the year, below analyst projections of $4.46.
- The forecast may add to the pressure from activist investor Trian Fund Management, headed by Nelson Peltz, who has argued the company’s share value could effectively double if it split itself into three.
- DD -1.5% premarket
- Q4 results
Jan. 27, 2015, 6:12 AM
- E. I. du Pont de Nemours (NYSE:DD): Q4 EPS of $0.71 in-line.
- Revenue of $7.92B (+1.0% Y/Y) beats by $110M.
Jan. 26, 2015, 5:30 PM
Jan. 13, 2015, 10:50 AM
- State records show that employees may have been periodically exposed to dangerous fumes for years at Dupont's (DD +0.5%) pesticide plant in Houston where a poisonous gas leak killed four workers in November.
- The Houston Chronicle reports that DuPont informed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of exhaust and ventilation system malfunctions at the La Porte plant in 2009 and 2010, but neither the company nor the state regulator alerted the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
- As much as 600 parts per million of toxic gas methyl mercaptan could have filled a poorly ventilated room in an hour during line-clearing activities, but federal guidelines say workers shouldn't be exposed to more than an average of 10 ppm per day.
- Previously: Chemical leak at DuPont facility kills four (Nov. 16 2014)
Jan. 12, 2015, 2:31 PM
- DuPont (DD +1.5%) agrees to sell its Dupont Theatre and related assets, months after the company was criticized by Trian Fund for retaining its hospitality businesses; financial terms are not disclosed.
- DuPont has long operated several hospitality institutions at its headquarters in Wilmington, Del., including the 12-story Hotel du Pont and the DuPont Country Club.
- In September, Trian highlighted the hospitality businesses as symbolizing waste at DuPont, and corporate governance experts said owning such assets is rare today among big U.S. publicly traded companies.
Jan. 9, 2015, 6:41 PM
- The Peltz proxy fight for DuPont (NYSE:DD) - the third largest proxy fight ever - could be an uphill battle, given how well DuPont stock has performed; during Ellen Kullman’s time as CEO starting in 2009, shares are up 190% vs. 126% for the S&P 500.
- Trian argues it's not enough and does not fix what the activist fund says are DuPont’s more fundamental problems of corporate overhead that burdens the company’s business lines, which would be more competitive if they were split - a strategy Peltz has successfully pushed at other targets including Ingersoll Rand, Cadbury Schweppes and Kraft.
- Critics say the move sends an ominous signal to companies already working to improve operations and set shareholder-friendly courses; they say if activists start targeting strong stocks, it could delay or imperil otherwise sound strategies to improve profits or trim weaker operations.
- But picking a fight might be as much about Peltz as it is about DuPont, sending a signal to his other investments, such as Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), that his patience has limits.
- DuPont says it will review Trian’s board nominees but warns that a proxy battle has “the potential to disrupt our company at a key stage of execution against our plan."
Jan. 8, 2015, 7:06 PM
- Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund launches a proxy fight against DuPont (NYSE:DD) to add four directors to the board, setting up a showdown following 18 months of bickering between the activist investor and the company.
- Trian’s four nominees, which include Peltz himself, likely will be put to a shareholder vote in April unless the parties reach a settlement.
- Trian says the DuPont board "has not held management accountable for continuing underperformance and repeated failures to deliver publicly stated revenue and earnings targets."
- With a $67.5B market cap, DuPont ranks among the biggest-ever targets of a proxy fight by an activist investor.
Dec. 23, 2014, 2:57 PM
- DuPont (DD +1.6%) and Monsanto (MON +0.6%) say they have agreed to settle their long-running technology dispute and dismiss their respective patent infringement lawsuits pending in court.
- The litigation related to claims by MON that DD had infringed certain MON seed chipping patents and claims by DD that MON had infringed certain DD patents related to seed processing.
- Terms of the settlement are not disclosed.
Dec. 19, 2014, 4:33 PM
- S&W Seed (NASDAQ:SANW) agrees to acquire of all of DuPont Pioneer's (NYSE:DD) alfalfa production and research facility assets, as well as all non-GMO alfalfa germplasm, for up to $42M.
- S&W also agrees to be DuPont Pioneer's sole supplier of alfalfa seed through 2024.
- S&W expects the alfalfa business to contribute $26M of incremental annual revenues in FY 2015 and $40M in FY 2016.
Dec. 18, 2014, 4:42 PM
- The spun off business will be named The Chemours Company and - as announced previously - will be led by Mark Vergnano, who is currently EVP in charge of the operation at Dupont (NYSE:DD).
- SEC Form 10 Presentation
- The spin remains on track to be completed by the middle of next year.
- In connection, Dupont will record a pre-tax charge of about $315M in Q4 consisting of $160M in employee separation costs, $140M of asset-related charges, and $15M of contract termination costs. As previously disclosed, the spin is expected to result in at least $1B in savings.
Dec. 17, 2014, 4:57 PM
- A top Chinese government official says the country has approved Syngenta’s (NYSE:SYT) genetically modified Agrisure Viptera corn, one year after China began rejecting shipments of grain it said contained traces of the unapproved trait, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
- Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said imports of the MIR 162 corn had been approved by China's Ministry of Agriculture, Vilsack says, adding that the ministry also approved imports of biotech soybeans developed by DuPont Pioneer (NYSE:DD) and Bayer CropScience (OTCPK:BAYZF, OTCPK:BAYRY).
- The import approvals do not represent a loosening of China's long regulatory review process for GMO crops, Vilsack says.
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. science-based products and services company. It operates through seven segments; Agriculture, Electronics & Communications, Industrial Biosciences, Nutrition & Health, Performance Chemicals, Performance Materials, Safety and Protection. The Agriculture segment... More
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