DuPont Announces $1 Billion Buyback, Raises Guidance

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 announced it will buy back $1 billion of its stock next year and boosted its earnings outlook on Tuesday.

The company plans to use a quarter of the after-tax proceeds from the divestiture of its performance-coatings business to buy its stock instead of issue a special dividend, DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman told CNBC.

"I've got great confidence in the company, in our strategy and I believe our shares are undervalued," she said in an interview on "Closing Bell."

DuPont expects 2012 earnings to come in at the high end of the $3.25 to $3.30 per share range on a continuing operations basis, excluding significant items.

Kullman is also optimistic for the new year. "As we go into 2013, we see a very strong story for DuPont," she said. "We see strength in agriculture, nutrition, advanced materials, and industrial biosciences. Those businesses' earnings will be up in the high-teens year over year."

(Read More: Boldest Predictions 2013.)

But overall earnings growth will be in the low to mid-single digits due to the drag from margin erosion in the more cyclical performance chemicals business.

Kullman also weighed in on the debate over taxes and the country's fiscal problems, calling for a balanced approach that raises revenue and cuts spending to address the "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that hit at the end of the year.

She also said that corporate tax rates "need to be in concert" with each globally other so that U.S. multinationals can create growth.