DuPont cuts profit forecast on slow sales in farm business

Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:13pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Chemicals maker DuPont (DD.N: Quote) cut its operating profit forecast for the second quarter and the full year, saying sales in its agriculture and performance chemicals units increased at a slower pace than it had expected.

The company's shares fell about 4 percent in extended trading.

DuPont has been focusing on its agriculture business, its biggest, for the past few quarters.

The company, however, reported a rare quarterly decline in sales at this unit in April as farmers in North America delayed purchases due to an unusually harsh winter.

DuPont had then said it expected "significant" growth in the unit's operating earnings in the second quarter ending June 30. [ID:nL3N0N92K5]

The company said on Thursday that corn seed sales in its farm business were lower than expected, while seed inventory write-downs were higher than anticipated.

The harsh winter also hit herbicide sales, the company said.

DuPont said it expected operating profit for the current quarter to fall moderately from $1.28 per share a year earlier.

The company cut its operating profit forecast for the year ending Dec. 31 to $4.00 per share from $4.10.   Continued...

A DuPont logo is pictured on the research center in Meyrin near Geneva August 4, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse