DuPont ( DD) Tuesday announced a sharply lower second-quarter profit as a deep restructuring plan continued to cut into the chemical company's bottom line.

The Delaware-based company posted net income of $503 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with $675 million, or 67 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, the company earned 80 cents a share, vs. 62 cents in the year-ago period. The consensus estimate of analysts was for 81 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Revenue inched up 2% to $7.53 billion, with the weak dollar helping overseas sales.

The company also lifted guidance, saying its full-year outlook is $2.25 to $2.35 a share, with the third quarter accounting for roughly 40% of second-half earnings. That compares with its previous forecast of $2.10 to $2.30 a share, excluding items. The consensus forecasts are EPS of 27 cents for the quarter and $2.34 for all of 2004.

During the second quarter, the company closed the sale of its Invista textiles unit for about $4.1 billion. The company previously said the proceeds would be used to pay down debt.

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 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 closed at $41.90 Monday.

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