DuPont Posts Loss on Writedown - TheStreet

DuPont

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lost $873 million in the third quarter because of a big writedown ahead of the spinoff of its textiles unit. Earnings were also lower excluding the item, because of higher energy prices.

In the quarter ended Dec. 30, the company lost $873 million, or 88 cents a share, compared with earnings of $469 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. The current quarter results include a $1.04 a share charge to write down the value of DuPont Textiles and Interiors.

DuPont said higher raw material costs reduced earnings by $200 million, or 20 cents a share, while noncash pension and stock option expense also reduced earnings by 10 cents a share.

Before the writedowns, the company earned $135 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with $401 million, or 40 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Consolidated sales were $6.1 billion, an increase of 12% from the prior year's $5.5 billion. Worldwide segment sales volumes rose 4%.

DuPont believes that the industrial sector is likely in the early stages of a recovery, an assessment based on macroeconomic indicators and its own September volume. Given this expectation, the company confirmed that it expects 2003 earnings to be $1.60 a share, before certain items, which matches analysts' estimates.

The company's guidance for full-year 2003, including special items, is 59 cents a share.