DuPont says strong dollar to have bigger impact than expected

Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:04am EDT
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(Reuters) - Chemical maker DuPont (DD.N: Quote) reported lower sales in all of its businesses and said a strong dollar would take a bigger toll on its full-year earnings than it had expected.

The company's shares were down 1.6 percent at $71.66 in light trading before the bell.

Dupont, which receives 60 percent of sales from outside the United States, said it expects a strong dollar to reduce its 2015 profit by 80 cents per share, higher than its earlier forecast of 60 cents.

The company said it expects full-year operating earnings to be at the low end of its forecast of $4.00-$4.20 per share.

DuPont is targeting annual cost cuts of $1 billion and expects the savings to add 40 cents per share to 2015 profit.

The company expects to meet two-thirds of its cost savings target from work force reductions and the remaining from streamlining its asset base by consolidating facilities, or outsourcing some services.

Cost cuts added 10 cents to DuPont's operating profit in the quarter ended March 31, helping mitigate the impact of a 10 percent fall in agriculture sales, the company's biggest unit.

The company, which is locked in a proxy battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz, also raised its quarterly dividend to 49 cents per share from 47 cents on Tuesday.

DuPont is only days away from a shareholder vote which will decide if Peltz will get the four board seats he has been campaigning for. The company's shareholder meeting will be held on May 13.   Continued...

A view of the Dupont logo on a train car at the Dupont  Edge Moor  facility near Wilmington, Delaware, April 17, 2012.  REUTERS/Tim Shaffer