Updated from 6:19 a.m. EDT

DuPont ( DD) said first-quarter earnings fell 59% to $489 million, or 54 cents a share, as strong results in agriculture and nutrition, and its pharmaceuticals division, were partially offset by a "severe decline" in global industrial demand.

Sales at the chemicals company in the quarter fell 17% to $7.27 billion from $8.77 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Dupont to earn 52 cents a share in the first quarter.

The company said it revised its earnings outlook lower to a range of $1.70 to $2.10 a share on expectations of continuing difficult market conditions "with the exception of global agriculture markets." It previously expected to earn $2 to $2.50 a share.

Analysts expect 2009 earnings of $1.88 a share.

DuPont also said it plans to increase its efforts to cut fixed costs by $1 billion, up from $730 million.
Copyright 2008 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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