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.
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.
- Source: Press Release
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.
Dec. 10, 2014, 9:21 AM
- DuPont (NYSE:DD) and Denki Kagaku Kogyo have signed a definitive agreement to sell DuPont Neoprene polychloroprene to Denka Performance Elastomer, a new joint venture company owned 70% by Denki and 30% by Mitsui (OTCPK:MITSY).
- Neoprene, a synthetic rubber used for many chemical and weather-resistant products such as wet suits and orthopedic braces, was invented by Dupont 83 years ago.
- Dupont's sale comes after a considerable amount of activist investor to break itself up.
Nov. 22, 2014, 8:25 AM
- Harvard Business School's Bill George is troubled by the trend of activist investors shifting their wrath to some of America’s best companies, which he says may net nice profits in the short term but places the competitiveness of America’s great global companies at risk.
- An example is Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), whose stock has gained 185% in the past five years, but Dan Loeb still wants to split the company; George says this would destroy a productive innovator by taking away the cash it needs to develop new drugs and fuel growth.
- PepsiCo’s (NYSE:PEP) 52% increase in three years is double that of Coca-Cola, yet Nelson Peltz is agitating to split the company in two, as he did with Kraft - which has struggled, as has its Mondelez spinout.
- Peltz also is trying to break up DuPont (NYSE:DD) even though the stock has climbed 250% since Ellen Kullman became CEO in 2009; a disjointed conglomerate without a clear strategy, DuPont's stock had slipped 62% since 2000.
- Bill Ackman successfully partnered to put Allergan (NYSE:AGN) in play, which resulted in a sale, but George says the deal was unnecessary for a stock that had gained 2,400% since David E.I. Pyott became CEO in 1998.
- In each case, George says leaders were forced to focus on saving their companies instead of winning global competitive battles, creating great products and building new businesses.
Nov. 16, 2014, 5:44 AM
- Four workers died and a fifth was hospitalized on Saturday due to a chemical leak at a DuPont (NYSE:DD) plant near Houston.
- The chemical, methyl mercaptan, is a liquid when contained, but becomes a gas when it is released and mixes with oxygen.
- "Our focus at the moment is solely on the employees and the family members," says spokesman Aaron Woods. "But as we move past that we will begin a full investigation to understand what went wrong and what we need to do to prevent this from ever happening again."
Oct. 29, 2014, 2:48 PM
- Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF, OTCPK:BAYRY) says its crop science unit agrees to acquire certain crop protection and land-management assets from DuPont (DD -1.7%) for an unspecified amount.
- The deal will enable Bayer to offer a broad range of products for weed control for farming, and will provide access to the growing forestry and range and pasture business segments in North America.
- DuPont will continue to sell its land management products outside of the five countries where the assets are located: the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
Oct. 28, 2014, 2:39 PM
- DuPont (DD +0.3%) CEO Ellen Kullman defends the company's diverse portfolio of businesses, pointing out the "competitive advantages" in developing seeds for farmers, plastics for car makers and a host of other products.
- "There is a lot of power in being able to deliver greater capability to [customers] than in being very narrow," Kullman says in her first public comments on the campaign by activist investor Nelson Peltz to break the company in two.
- "Our current capital structure provides us with important financial flexibility we need to pursue strategic growth opportunities in light of regional and highly seasonal agricultural cash flows," the CEO said in the company's earnings conference call.
- Kullman also says DuPont and Peltz are aligned in focusing on cutting costs, citing $2B in expense reductions during the past five years with plans to cut another $1B by 2020.
- Earlier: More on DuPont's Q3 results
Oct. 28, 2014, 7:09 AM
- Net income of $433M vs. $285M in the same quarter a year ago. Operating earnings per share of $0.54 vs. $0.45 per share last year.
- Operating earnings by segment: Agriculture +11%; Electronics & Communications -3%; Industrial Biosciences +4%; Nutrition & Health +23%; Performance Chemicals -5%; Performance Materials +1%; Safety & Protection +18%; Other +22%.
- The company backed its full-year operating earnings outlook of $4.00-$4.10 per share and expects its Q4 operating EPS to grow about 20% from $0.59 per share in the year-earlier period.
- Q3 results
Oct. 28, 2014, 6:01 AM| 2 Comments
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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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