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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

DuPont Posts 59% drop in Profit, Declares Quarterly Dividend of $0.41

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. (DD) reported that first-quarter net profit fell 59 percent to $489 million, or 54 cents a share, from the same period last year when earnings were $1.2 billion, or $1.31 a share.

The Wilmington, Del.-based chemicals giant, which has a plant in Tonawanda with 628 employees including 327 hourly workers, also reported Tuesday that first quarter sales also fell, dropping to $7.27 billion from the prior year’s $8.77 billion.

The loss was primarily due to lower volumes, DuPont said.

The results reflect a “severe decline in global industrial demand”, especially in construction, auto production and consumer spending, the company said.

Laurence Alexander, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., issued a buy rating for DuPont on Tuesday, saying the company's 7 percent dividend yield offset significant earnings risks.

"Each cycle, DuPont presents two opportunities to investors," Alexander wrote in a note to investors. "As an early cyclical bellwether, it should rally before the economy turns. As a diversified conglomerate, it has the perennial promise of transformation and revival."

Also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.41 per share.

Disclosure I am long DD.

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