Earnings Scorecard: DuPont - Analyst Blog


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Chemical major EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. ( DD ) started 2012 with a mixed bag in the first quarter beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate on earnings while missing on the revenue front.

Highlights from the Quarter

The company's first quarter adjusted earnings of $1.61 per share exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.55. The growth was primarily driven by strong performance in Agriculture and Performance Chemicals and the benefit of prior-year acquisitions in Nutrition & Health and Industrial Biosciences. Profit after including one-time items (customer claim charges of $50 million), came in at $1.57 per share versus $1.52 in the prior-year quarter. 

Revenues grew 12% year-over-year to $11,230 million, driven by price hikes and strong sales in the Agriculture segment. However, sales missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11,239 million. The sales volumes for Agriculture segment increased across all regions. However, sales volumes for other segments remained flat in Asia.

DuPont reiterated its full-year 2012 earnings outlook of $4.20 to $4.40 per share, an increase of 7% to 12% compared with 2011, excluding significant items. 

We have discussed the quarterly results at length here: DuPont Beats, Reaffirms View

Agreement - Estimate Revisions

Estimates for DuPont demonstrate lack of activity over the past week. Out of 13 analysts covering the stock, none has made any revision in either direction for the second quarter over the past 7 days. Over the last month, 6 analysts (out of 13) lowered their forecasts for quarter while 5 of them making upward revisions.

Estimates for 2012 reflect a somewhat similar trend with none of the analysts altering their estimates over the past week. However, over the last 30 days, 10 analysts (out of 16) lifted their estimates while just 1 moved in the opposite direction, demonstrating a strong directional agreement.

Magnitude - Consensus Estimate Trend

Estimates for the second quarter and fiscal 2012 did not show any movement over the past week. However, over the last 30 days, estimate for the second quarter dropped by a penny and increased by 5 cents for fiscal 2012. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter and fiscal 2012 are $1.47 and $4.31, respectively.

Neutral on DuPont

DuPont, a global chemical and life sciences company, focuses on acquisitions and joint venture to expand its market presence and product portfolio. The company, in February 2012, signed a strategic agreement with Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.  to increase the supply of photovoltaic materials and technologies for the growing global market for solar energy.

DuPont also acquired the remaining 28% of the Solae, LLC joint venture from Bunge. The acquisition will help the company to expand its position in the food ingredients market.

DuPont also remains committed to providing differentiated and innovative products to its customers. It also remains on track to achieve its fixed cost productivity targets of $1 billion by 2012.

However, higher raw material, energy and freight costs remain a concern for the company. DuPont's Safety and Protection division has a dim outlook as it has expanded its Kevlar facility, which will lead to increased start up costs. Slowing demand in electronics and destocking in performance polymers also keep us on the sideline.

We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on DuPont. The company, which competes with The Dow Chemical Company ( DOW ) and BASF SE ( BASFY ), maintains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Hold rating.

About Earnings Estimate Scorecard

As a PhD from MIT, Len Zacks proved over 30 years ago that earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices. He turned this ground breaking discovery into two of the most celebrating stock rating systems in use today. The Zacks Rank for stock trading in a 1 to 3 month time horizon and the Zacks Recommendation for long-term investing (6+ months). These "Earnings Estimate Scorecard" articles help analyze the important aspects of estimate revisions for each stock after their quarterly earnings announcements. Learn more about earnings estimates and our proven stock ratings at  http://www.zacks.com/education/

BASF SE (BASFY): Free Stock Analysis Report
DU PONT (EI) DE (DD): Free Stock Analysis Report
DOW CHEMICAL (DOW): Free Stock Analysis Report
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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