DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

Wednesday reaffirmed second-quarter and full-year earnings guidance that remains shy of analysts' expectations.

Speaking at a meeting of chemical analysts in New York, Chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday, Jr. held to the company's April forecast, calling for earnings per share of 78 cents in the current quarter and $2.10 to $2.30 a share for all of 2004, excluding items. The consensus forecasts are for 81 cents and $2.35, respectively, according to Thomson First Call.

The company also repeated that it expects a quarterly charge of about 17 cents to 19 cents a share related to its previously announced restructuring program.

DuPont is in the midst of a major restructuring program announced last December, which is expected to achieve $900 million in savings in 2005. The company earlier this year said it would cut 3,500 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, as part of the plan.

Among the changes announced in December, DuPont said it will leverage and center its staff functions, support services and manufacturing operations; consolidate product lines by at least 20% to improve variable margins; and increase its focus on emerging markets, especially China.

In April, the Delaware-based company reported first-quarter earnings slightly above expectations. Net income hit $668 million, or 66 cents per share, up about 25% from the year-ago period, when it earned $535 million, or 53 cents a share. Excluding items, DuPont earned 96 cents a share. Special items amounted to an after-tax charge of $296 million, or 30 cents a share, vs. $51 million, or 5 cents a share, in the 2003 period. Revenue rose 15% to $8.1 billion from $7 billion a year ago.

DuPont shares fell 45 cents, or 1.1%, to $41.07.