said its agriculture segment helped drive second-quarter earnings and revenue growth, and the company lifted the lower end of its full-year profit outlook.
Sales for the quarter rose 12% from the year-ago quarter to $8.8 billion, reflecting an 18% increase outside the U.S. and a 5% expansion domestically, despite the weak housing and automotive markets.
The agriculture and nutrition segment highlighted the quarter, as sales climbed 23% thanks to strong global demand for corn, soybean and crop-protection products.
DuPont earned $1.08 billion, or $1.18 a share, in the quarter, up from last year's $972 million and $1.04 a share. The latest quarter gained 7 cents owing to a litigation settlement and a lower base tax rate. The Thomson Reuters consensus estimate was $1.07, with sales of $8.5 billion.
Looking ahead, DuPont boosted the bottom end of its 2008 forecast, saying it should earn $3.45 to $3.55 a share this year. The previous range was $3.40 to $3.55. On average, analysts are looking for $3.50.
"DuPont captured strong growth in agriculture and emerging markets and grew earnings despite accelerating raw material and energy costs in the second quarter. We are executing well in a challenging environment," said DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday Jr., in a prepared statement. "DuPont's strategic transformation in recent years is enabling us to successfully adapt to the new reality of significantly higher commodity costs, and we remain focused on achieving our 2010 accelerated growth plan."
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.