DuPont beats on strong demand in agriculture business

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

Chemicals and seeds company DuPont, which is merging with Dow Chemical, beat analysts' estimates for both profit and revenue on Tuesday, helped by higher sales in its agriculture business.

Sales in the business, which accounts for nearly half of DuPont's total revenue, rose 7 percent, as the company sold more insecticides and fungicides.

DuPont also said higher soybean sales in North America and increased demand for sunflower and corn seeds in Europe helped its agriculture business in the first half of the year.

DuPont and Dow are hiving off assets worth billions, including a portion of DuPont's crop protection business, to comply with anti-trust regulators after announcing their $130 billion merger-before-breakup deal in December 2015.

The new company, DowDuPont, will split into agriculture, specialty chemicals, and materials companies.

DuPont said on Tuesday it continued to expect the deal to be completed next month.

Net sales for DuPont rose 5.1 percent to $7.42 billion in the second quarter ended June 30.

Net income attributable to DuPont fell 15.5 percent to $862 million, or 99 cents per share.

DuPont said it took a charge of $376 million in the quarter related to its merger with Dow.

Excluding items, Dupont earned $1.38 per share. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.29 per share and revenue of $7.29 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.