DuPont boosts earnings targets
Chemical manufacturer says fourth-quarter and '07 results will be a penny better than forecasts; raises '08 profit guidance.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Chemical maker DuPont raised its earnings outlook for both 2007 and 2008 Wednesday, saying it was able to overcome a slowing U.S. economy and higher raw material prices to post better-than-expected results.
The nation's No. 3 chemical maker behind leader Dow Chemical (DOW, Fortune 500) and the chemicals unit of Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500), DuPont said it now expects earnings per share of $3.20, excluding special items, for 2007. That's at the upper end of its earlier forecast of EPS between $3.15 and $3.20, and a penny better than the consensus EPS forecast from analysts surveyed by earnings tracker Thomson First Call.
It would give the company fourth-quarter EPS of 50 cents, up 11 percent from 45 cents a year earlier. Full-year results will also be up 11 cents.
The company said it sees 2008 EPS of $3.35 to $3.55, up from its earlier guidance of $3.31 to $3.52. But the company issued a correction of its earlier statement at 7:12 a.m., a bit more than an hour after its original release, which had given guidance of $3.40 to $3.55.
First Call's 2008 forecast for the company is for EPS of $3.42.
"Our science-driven innovations and market differentiation enabled us to deliver fourth-quarter revenues somewhat above our earlier expectations," said a statement from Chairman and CEO Charles Holliday.
"Looking ahead, we are confident that our improved business mix and ongoing initiatives to lower cost and boost returns on innovation will enable us to deliver attractive growth in earnings in 2008."