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DuPont profit rises 8.5 percent as costs fall

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

DuPont reported a higher-than-expected rise in quarterly profit as lower costs boosted margins, and the chemicals and seeds producer said it expected a 50 percent jump in operating earnings per share in the current quarter.

The company, which is in the process of merging with Dow Chemical, raised the low-end of its 2016 operating earnings forecast by 10 cents per share to $3.15. It maintained the upper end at $3.20.

"Cost savings, mix enrichment from new technologies and lower product costs contributed to the margin expansion," Chief Executive Ed Breen said in a statement on Tuesday.

The company is on track to reach $1 billion in cost savings on a run-rate basis by year-end, Breen said.

DuPont said it now expected a strong dollar to hurt full-year profit by about 15 cents per share, less than the 20 cents it had estimated earlier.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $1.02 billion, or $1.16 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 from $940 million, or $1.03 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.24 per share, easily beating analysts' average estimate of $1.10, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales fell 0.8 percent to $7.06 billion.

DuPont is merging with rival Dow in an all-stock deal, a first step toward breaking up the combined company into three separate businesses focused on agriculture, material science and specialty products.