Chemical giant DuPont (DD) is focused on better living through chemistry. The firm's most famous products include nylon, Kevlar, Teflon, and Tyvek -- materials that have become wildly successful in the decades since they were introduced. More recently, DuPont has focused on less consumer-centric projects, establishing itself as one of the biggest genetically modified seed producers in the world and investing in its food ingredient arm.
Management's willingness to invest cash into R&D is critical for DuPont. The firm's biggest blockbusters came from internal investment in R&D (as opposed to merely acquiring its tech from others and marketing it), and that emphasis on innovation is baked into the corporate culture.A lot of DuPont's growth prowess comes from its agriculture business, where supplying consumable modified seeds at home and in ag-hungry emerging economies should continue to be a hot market. Like other chemical industry names, DuPont carries a fair debt load on its balance sheet. That said, cash accounts for much of that debt, decreasing the leverage that shareholders are buying into. Right now, DuPont pays out a 43-cent quarterly dividend that translates into a 3.6% yield. This stock looks like it's in good position to hike its payouts in the next quarter.
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