Updated from 09:00 a.m. EDT

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

on Thursday lifted its first-quarter outlook, citing strong growth in its agricultural business and emerging markets.

The chemical and technology company now sees profits of $1.29 per share, vs. its previous outlook of between $1.14 to $1.19 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial forecast earnings of $1.17 a share.

DuPont's forecast represents a more than 20% jump in profit from the year-ago period. The company last year reported first-quarter earnings of $1.01 per share, including a 6-cent special item charge.

The company also shifted the lower end of its full-year outlook up 5 cents, to between $3.40 and $3.55 a share. The consensus estimate is $3.45 a share. DuPont, however, warned that slowing U.S. housing and automotive markets likely will offset growth in international agriculture and other markets.

"While the macroeconomic outlook remains difficult to predict, we are focused on our priorities to capitalize on rising global demand for our products; further penetrate key markets in the world's rapidly growing geographies; and extend our productivity improvement programs," Chairman and CEO Charles Holliday Jr. said in a company statement.

DuPont is set to report first-quarter earnings April 22. Shares were rising 1.1% to $49.57 in recent premarket trading.

Surging commodities markets have propped up stocks in the agriculture sector in the first three months of the year, but indications are that the party there could be ending.

Monsanto last week

beat estimates

when it posted net sales of $3.78 billion, a 45% jump from the $2.61 billion it reported in the second fiscal quarter last year. Excluding items, the company posted a profit of $1.79 a share from ongoing operations, vs. 99 cents a share a year ago.

Shares dipped, however, as the company offered light full-year guidance. The company forecast a profit of between $3.15 a share and $3.25 a share on an ongoing basis, vs. analysts' expectations of $3.20 a share.

Know What You Own

: DD operates in the agricultural industry, and some of the other stocks in its field include

Syngenta

(SYT)

,

Terra Industries

( TRA),

Scotts Miracle-Gro

(SMG) - Get Report

and

Agrium

(AGU)

. These stocks were recently trading at $59.84, +0.84%, $39.84, -0.85%, $35.06, +0.14% and $70.44, +0.36% respectively. For more on the value of knowing what you own, visit TheStreet.com's

Investing A-to-Z

section.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.