Yesterday, 6:56 PM
- DuPont (NYSE:DD) nixes a request from Trian Fund Management to use a universal ballot in a coming vote on directors, just weeks after the company rejected the hedge fund’s board nominees and proposed two of its own.
- DuPont says it will continue to rely on proxy cards, which will force shareholders to either vote for or against its slate of directors; a universal ballot would put both Trian’s four nominees and DuPont’s full 13-member board on the same paper document sent to shareholders.
- While the issue seems technical, the decision can affect the ability of smaller investors to pick and choose directors from each side’s slate, which is particularly important at DuPont since it has a base of nearly 600K individual shareholders.
- DuPont and Trian are engaged in a bitter fight over the performance and future of the company, with the hedge fund believing the company's agriculture and industrial chemicals businesses should be separated.
Tue, Feb. 17, 10:33 AM
- DuPont (DD -0.3%) says proposals from Trian Fund to break up the company and add more debt are not in the best interest of shareholders, and that Trian has launched a proxy fight which is based on "inaccurate data and flawed analyses to distract from DuPont's track record of strong performance."
- DuPont says its management team remains focused on a restructuring plan launched in 2009 it believes is laying the foundation for future success, and notes that returns during one-, three- and five-year periods outperformed its peers and the S&P 500.
- Trian, run by Nelson Peltz, has been pushing to gain four seats on the DuPont board.
Wed, Feb. 11, 10:22 AM
- Trian Fund files a proxy statement urging DuPont (DD -0.3%) shareholders to vote for its slate of four nominees to the board, including Nelson Peltz.
- Trian also describes initiatives it believes DuPont should take to improve financial and operational performance and corporate governance, adding that It is "not acceptable that earnings in 2012, 2013, 2014 and, according to DuPont's own guidance, 2015, are all below earnings in 2011."
- DuPont last week named two new directors to its board, saying it would have considered a Trian nominee but the fund refused any proposals that did not include Peltz on the board.
Tue, Feb. 10, 2:14 PM
- Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund and other investors are raising questions about the stock holdings of DuPont (DD -0.1%) Chairman/CEO Ellen Kullman, who exercised stock options and sold more than 500K shares of DuPont stock after Trian went public with its campaign to split DuPont's businesses, WSJ reports.
- DD shares hit 15-year highs following Trian’s move.
- Combined with other, earlier sales that also came from exercising stock options, Kullman last year reduced her total exposure to DuPont stock by 35%.
- InsiderScore.com, which monitors such filings, says the sales “raised red flags and sent a negative value message."
- DuPont says Kullman’s sales were part of a prearranged trading program that could not be stopped because it was around the time the company was set to release its earnings report.
Fri, Feb. 6, 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.
Thu, Feb. 5, 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.
Tue, Feb. 3, 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.
Fri, Jan. 30, 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.
Thu, Jan. 29, 2:37 PM
Tue, Jan. 27, 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
Tue, Jan. 27, 6:12 AM| 1 Comment
Mon, Jan. 26, 5:30 PM
Tue, Jan. 13, 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)
Mon, Jan. 12, 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.
Fri, Jan. 9, 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."
Thu, Jan. 8, 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.
DD vs. ETF Alternatives
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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