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DuPont cuts full-year outlook on weak farm sales

DuPont research scientists at work in a biobutanol molecular biology lab
Source: Dupont
DuPont research scientists at work in a biobutanol molecular biology lab

DuPont on Tuesday cut its full-year earnings forecast, citing the spin-off of its performance chemicals unit and a weak demand for agricultural products.

DuPont said it expects its full-year operating earnings of about $3.10 per share. The company in April had forecast earnings at the low end of the $4.00-$4.20 range for the period.

The company, whose international business accounts for about 60 percent of its overall sales, also reduced the impact of a strong dollar to its full-year earnings to 60 cents per share from 80 cents, due to the spin-off.

The company, whose international business accounts for about 60 percent of its overall sales, also reduced the impact of a strong dollar to its full-year earnings to 60 cents per share from 80 cents, due to the spin-off.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares fell in pre-market trading. (Get the latest quote here.)

The chemical and materials giant posted second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.18 per share, up from $1.17 a share in the year-earlier period. The company said its quarterly profit was hurt by a drop in agriculture earnings and the stronger dollar.

Revenue fell to $8.88 billion from $9.71 billion a year ago.

Analysts expected DuPont to report earnings of $1.18 per share on $8.75 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The company in May defeated a campaign by Trian Fund Management to land seats on DuPont's board, delivering a landmark setback to one of the most influential activist investor firms.

DuPont's agriculture business, which accounted for about 37 percent of its sales, is being weighed down by weak global demand for crop protection products, reduced corn farming in Latin America and lower soybean volumes in North America.

At the beginning of the month, DuPont completed the spinoff of its performance chemicals segment. The unit, now called Chemours, is a separate public company.

"We are now fully focused on markets where our science gives the company a distinct competitive advantage, enabling DuPont to drive higher, more stable growth," said DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman in a statement at the time of the separation.

The materials and chemicals giant also announced a leadership shuffle this month. Matthew Trerotola, an executive vice president who handled DuPont's safety and protection and electronics and communications businesses in addition to its Asia region, resigned to take another job.

The company's shares have fallen nearly 20 percent this year.

Reuters contributed to this report.