DuPont

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said earnings for 2003 will probably be near the lower end of the range the company provided in its midyear outlook -- coming in about $1.60 a share -- and indicated that its fourth-quarter profit will likely represent at least 75% of its second-half results.

In a press release Wednesday, DuPont said its businesses didn't see evidence of "a broad turnaround in industrial demand" in July and August, but leading indicators suggest a meaningful recovery should begin to gain momentum in the fourth quarter of 2003 and carry into 2004.

"We haven't changed our view of macro impacts on DuPont results for the second half," said Gary Pfeiffer, DuPont's senior vice president and chief financial officer. "In July we provided two scenarios based on the pace and timing of an anticipated turnaround. Considering our business experience to date and a close watch on industrial production, we believe that the slower scenario is playing out."

DuPont said in July that if U.S. industrial production doesn't grow until late in the second half of the year, 2003 earnings would be at the lower end of analysts' range of $1.60 to $2.10 a share.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson First Call expect earnings of $1.80 a share for the full year.

The company's outlook doesn't include any estimates for special items in the second half. DuPont has said it will record a gain of $25 million, or 2 cents a share, in the third quarter from insurance proceeds related to a 1995 lawsuit. The company also expects a gain of about 1 cent a share from a favorable arbitration ruling.

In addition, the company is conducting an analysis to evaluate the carrying value of its long-term assets in its textiles and interiors segment to determine what impairment loss might be required under various separation scenarios. These items would affect DuPont's reported results for the year.

Shares of DuPont were down $1.07, or 2.4%, to $42.90 in recent trading.