* Third-quarter operating earnings $0.45/shr vs est $0.41
* Total revenue up 5 pct
* Electronics and communications unit operating profit up 67 pct
Oct 22 (Reuters) - U.S. chemical maker DuPont's third-quarter profit beat analysts' estimates due to strong performance in its businesses that make solar panel parts and bullet proof vests.
Operating profit jumped 67 percent at the company's electronics and communications business, which supplies metal pastes and other materials used in solar panels.
The company's safety and protection unit, which makes Kevlar bulletproof fiber, posted a 16 percent rise in operating profit.
Dupont is looking at agriculture, alternative energy and specialty materials to offset flagging sales in its paint pigment business. The company said in July that it was exploring options for the paint pigment unit.
Operating earnings fell 38 percent in the performance chemicals unit, which houses the paint pigments business as price declines for titanium dioxide and refrigerants offset higher sales volumes.
Total net income rose to $285 million from $5 million a year earlier, when the company recorded charges related to severance and restructuring.
Operating earnings were 45 cents per share. On that basis, analysts on average had expected 41 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 5 percent to $7.74 billion, but slightly missed analysts' estimates of $7.78 billion.