DuPont Lowers Projected Earnings
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) _ Chemical giant DuPont reduced its earnings projections for this year, citing higher fuel prices, weakened foreign currencies and soft markets for its products. Its stock price fell by about 11 percent.
Earnings per share for 2000 will likely be between 6 and 16 cents lower than originally forecast, company officials said Thursday.
In July, the company projected per-share earnings for the year to be $3.01. With Thursday’s announcement, the company now expects earnings of between $2.85 and $2.95 per share.
``Our original targets are now out of range,″ Ann Gualtieri, DuPont’s vice president for investor relations, said during a conference call Thursday.
On Thursday, DuPont shares were down $4.88 to close at $42.13 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Some analysts said the earnings shortfall was due to conditions largely beyond DuPont’s control.
``I believe the other chemical companies are going to have a tough third quarter on raw materials, too, and maybe some slowing of volume,″ said Jeff Peck, an analyst who follows DuPont for Bear Stearns.
Peck said he would not adjust his rating for DuPont based on Thursday’s announcement. ``They could still show very, very solid earnings growth,″ he said.
Like many large U.S. manufacturers, DuPont is struggling this year to meet skyrocketing fuel prices in both the oil and natural gas sectors. Officials said DuPont buys about $11 billion worth of raw materials annually, about 40 percent of which are oil and gas.
DuPont’s largest consumers of these fuels are it’s nylon and polymer plants, Gualtieri said.
DuPont’s chief financial officer Gary Pfeiffer said the company is offsetting the earnings shortfall through worldwide price increases, controlled spending and credits from revised accounting procedures in the company’s pension program.
The company said its long-term growth projections remain on track at between 10 and 14 percent per year.
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DuPont site: http://dupont.com