Dow component DuPont posted better-than-expected Q3 earnings Tuesday and widened its full-year outlook, as strong international sales exceeded the effect of weak U.S. demand amid downturns in the housing and auto markets. The number-three U.S. chemical maker said Q3 net income was up 8.5% to $526 million ($0.56/share) on a 5.8% sales gain to $6.67 billion, compared to earnings of $485 million ($0.52) on sales of $6.31 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Total revenue was up 5.9% to $7.04 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting EPS of $0.52 on total revenue of $6.73 billion. For 2007, DuPont now expects EPS of $3.15-3.20, vs. a previous $3.15. For 2008, the company said it expects 5-10% EPS growth. Analysts polled by Reuters had been forecasting 2007 EPS of $3.16 and 2008 EPS of $3.40. "Our performance reflects the concentrated actions of our employees to execute our growth strategies and productivity initiatives, which overcame the challenges of higher cost ingredients and lower U.S. demand," CEO Charles Holliday Jr. said in a press release (full earnings call transcript later today). Last week, Dow 30 components and DuPont competitors Caterpillar (full story) and 3M (full story) posted weaker-than-expected numbers. Shares of DuPont are down about 5% in the last six months, vs. an 11% gain in the S & P Chemicals Index.
Commentary: DuPont Lacks Dividend Chemistry • DuPont: Still a Growth Stock - Barron's
Stocks to watch: DD. Competitors: DOW, XOM, CAT, MMM. ETFs: XLB, PRFM, IYM, VAW
Earnings call transcript: DuPont Q2 2007
Seeking Alpha's news briefs are combined into a pre-market summary called Wall Street Breakfast. Get Wall Street Breakfast by email -- it's free and takes only seconds to sign up.