Apr. 11, 2014, 6:06 PM
- China’s rejection of genetically modified corn is becoming a big problem for exporters: In the first full tally of the impact, a U.S. grain industry group says the rejected shipments have totaled ~1.45M metric tons, far more than the 545K tons China has reported and the 900K tons that has circulated in news media.
- The rejected shipments have cost grain companies $427M from lost sales and reduced prices for China-bound shipments that must be resold elsewhere, and has affected the price of corn and soybeans, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for farmers.
- Big seed companies such as Syngenta (SYT), Monsanto (MON) and DuPont (DD) generally are aligned with traders such as Cargill and ADM in the desire to grow and sell as much grain as possible, but now the two groups are debating who should bear the costs for the rejected shipments.
- ETFs: DBA, CORN, RJA, SOYB, DAG, JJA, RGRA, AGA, AGF, USAG, FUD, UAG, DIRT, TAGS, ADZ
Apr. 3, 2014, 11:39 AM
- A U.S. appeals court throws out a $920M award to DuPont (DD -0.1%) over a case involving alleged theft of trade secrets in the manufacture of Kevlar, citing errors by the trial judge in the case brought in 2012 by federal prosecutors.
- The court orders a new trial, ruling that the judge in the case had wrongly excluded evidence relevant to the defense, and for a new judge to be assigned to the case.
Mar. 19, 2014, 6:49 PM
- Fear of fickle regulators is discouraging companies from investing in climate-change initiatives: Companies invested on average 22% less in emissions reductions in 2013 than in the prior year, as 90% of companies responding to a recent survey cited regulatory risk as a barrier to investment.
- DuPont (DD), for example, says regulatory surprises mean it is facing the prospect of smaller markets and longer payback periods than originally anticipated on two projects in the U.S. and Europe.
- "If you do a longer term investment in the industry, it takes years to build a full scale plant," a frustrated DuPont exec tells WSJ. "You want to have a payback. We can’t put hundreds of millions of dollars in a full-scale plant then see the law change and there is no market any more.”
Mar. 10, 2014, 6:05 PM
- DuPont (DD) -1% AH after saying in an 8-K filing that Q1 sales and earnings will be “challenged” by the unusually cold North American winter and disruptions in Ukraine.
- However, DD maintains its FY 2014 forecast for operating EPS of $4.20-$4.45, citing an improvement in global industrial production and lower agriculture input costs; consensus analyst estimate is $4.43.
Mar. 4, 2014, 3:58 PM
- Honeywell (HON +1.1%) and DuPont (DD +1.9%) reportedly face a European Union complaint for violating antitrust rules over the only car coolant chemical that currently meets new EU standards on greenhouse gas emissions.
- It’s a new twist in a long-running saga over the HFO-1234yf chemical, which is expected to be a cash cow for the two companies, as it replaces ozone-depleting alternatives that can’t be included in new vehicles sold in the EU starting in 2017.
- The new chemical is considered more expensive than its predecessor, and "with patent-protected supply plus a more expensive manufacturing process, a price premium will exist for some time,” an analyst says.
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:56 AM
- DuPont (DD +0.3%) says it expects to generate as much as $500M/year in revenue from high-tech farm data services over the coming decade.
- Next month, DD will begin selling to farmers its Encira suite of data-driven services aimed at increasing farmers' yields through analysis of their weather, soil and crop performance.
- DuPont, rival Monsanto (MON +0.5%) and other seed and software companies are investing and striking deals with weather and equipment companies and soil analysis specialists to broaden the range of analysis they are able to deliver for farmers, which can mean more crops per acre and increased revenue at harvest time.
Feb. 20, 2014, 5:47 PM
- DuPont's (DD) seed deliveries from its new $40M seed plant in Ukraine are being slowed by the intensifying violence in the world's third-largest corn exporting country, the president of the company's seed unit says.
- No negative effect on revenue will occur if the delay to seed deliveries is resolved by the end of the planting season in three months, DD says, but a bigger concern is whether credit will still be available.
- Other western companies with significant presence in Ukraine - such as Monsanto (MON), Deere (DE), Glencore (GLCNF) and ADM - either haven't commented or say they're monitoring events.
Feb. 11, 2014, 2:24 PM
- The EU appears set to approve Europe's second genetically modified crop for cultivation in 15 years, handing a victory to DuPont (DD +1.4%) over objections from most of the EU's member states.
- At a meeting of EU ministers today, 19 out of the bloc's 28 nations opposed approving the 1507 corn developed by DuPont, but that wasn't a big enough majority to prevent the European Commission from approving the corn.
- DuPont first sought approval for the crop 12 years ago but is now on the verge of success after multiple scientific safety reviews and several decisions by the European Court of Justice criticizing the Commission for delaying a decision.
- Only one other genetically modified crop is allowed to be grown in the EU, a corn developed by Monsanto (MON) that is resistant to corn borer; it was approved by the bloc in 1998.
Feb. 6, 2014, 11:56 AM
- The market seems to view DuPont (DD +1.3%) as a stodgy chemical company, but it is one of the world's biggest sellers of seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and other crop protection products; a Barron's profile says shares could climb 20% as investors start to give DuPont credit for those businesses.
- DuPont delivered better than expected Q4 earnings last week, helped by fast-growing sales in its agriculture division; the unit contributed ~40% of 2013 operating profit and is DD's fastest-growing business, with sales that could rise at a double-digit rate during the next few years.
- Compared with companies focused on agriculture chemical products, DD has been trading at a discount, at 14.2x estimated 2014 earnings; investors pay 19x-20x estimated earnings for Monsanto (MON) and Potash (POT).
Jan. 31, 2014, 1:01 PM
Jan. 29, 2014, 2:49 PM
- Today's strength in Gevo (GEVO +9.7%) is attributed to a Bloomberg story that butanol may be in U.S. pumps as soon as next year in a challenge to ethanol’s domination of the $26B renewable fuels market.
- Butamax Advanced Biofuel, funded by DuPont (DD) and BP, is retrofitting an ethanol plant in Minnesota to begin making butanol in commercial volumes in 2015, and Gevo, backed by Total (TOT) and billionaire Richard Branson, already runs a distillery in the state; both groups say they’ve lined up clients for large-scale deliveries.
- “With ethanol dominant as a gasoline additive, the U.S. fuel industry simply hasn’t had much reason for adoption of butanol, [but] that may be starting to change now that ethanol is hitting a blend wall," says Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.
Jan. 28, 2014, 7:09 AM
- Du Pont (DD) net profit doubles to $185M, lifted by strong insecticide sales in Latin America and earlier seed shipments in North America.
- Segment operating earnings +52% to $939M.
- Agriculture operating earnings $88M vs seasonal operating loss of $77M a year earlier. Electronics & Communications +116%, Safety & Protection +57% and Nutrition & Health +40%.
- Announces $5B share-repurchase program, with $2B expected to occur in 2014.
- Expects 2014 operating EPS of $4.20-4.45 vs consensus of $4.31. (PR)
Jan. 28, 2014, 6:03 AM
Jan. 28, 2014, 12:05 AM
Jan. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jan. 9, 2014, 2:56 PM
- DuPont (DD +0.9%) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a $70 price target at BofA/Merrill.
- The firm believes DD stands to benefit from a confluence of favorable circumstances: (1) projected acceleration of global growth; (2) ongoing portfolio improvement via the pending separation of Performance Chemicals; (3) growing financial flexibility that should support future dividend increases; and (4) inexpensive valuation relative to history and industry peers.
- Separately, Executive VP Mark Vergnano is appointed CEO of the titanium dioxide business when it is spun off next year.
E I du Pont de Nemours & Company is a science and engineering company that offers products and patents applications for agriculture, nutrition, electronics and communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.
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