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DuPont Beats but Revenue Slides

The chemical company also guides in line for full-year 2005 earnings.
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on Tuesday beat earnings expectations in the fourth quarter despite a big drop in revenue, and offered in-line guidance for 2005.

The chemical company said its profit was $278 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with $636 million, or 63 cents a share, in the prior year. Net income before special items was $371 million, or 37 cents a share, up 28% from a year ago. Analysts had expected 33 cents a share, according to a Thomson First Call survey. Revenue fell to $6.0 billion compared with $6.5 billion a year ago.

The company, which has undertaken a broad restructuring, said "higher selling prices and volume growth more than offset higher energy and raw material costs."

The fourth-quarter results included $100 million, or 9 cents a share, for increased legal reserves.

DuPont said it expects 2005 EPS of $2.65 to $2.85, excluding special items. The consensus estimate is $2.74 a share.

Shares closed at $46.01 Monday.