DOVER, Del. (AP) — DuPont's agricultural sales suffered and its operating costs rose during extensive winter storms that dragged on first-quarter earnings, although volumes increased in the company's industrial segments and profit margins improved in almost every one of them.
The Wilmington, Del., chemical maker reported net income Thursday of $1.4 billion, or $1.54 per share, for the quarter ended March 31. That's down from $3.35 billion, or $3.58 per share, for the same quarter a year ago, which included a one-time gain from completion of the sale of DuPont's performance coatings unit.
Excluding one-time items, DuPont reported operating earnings of $1.58 per share, up from $1.56 per share on an adjusted basis in last year's first quarter, but slightly below the consensus Wall Street estimate of $1.59 per share.
Sales declined 3 percent to $10.1 billion for the quarter, mainly due to differences in timing and planted area for agriculture sales, negative currency impact, and adverse weather conditions in North America. Analysts were expecting revenue of $10.4 billion.
"We delivered near record earnings per share despite the challenges of harsh weather and differences in year-on-year comparisons in our agriculture segment, and our key initiatives remain on track," said CEO Ellen Kullman.
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