BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- DuPont ( DD) has released its fourth-quarter results.
Quarterly Synopsis: DuPont's fourth-quarter GAAP earnings per share decreased 17% to 40 cents, hurt by charges. Sales increased 15% to $7.4 billion, helped by a 12% increase in volume and a 6% increase in prices, which was partially offset by negative currency translations. U.S. sales jumped 15% during the quarter. Asia Pacific sales climbed 27% and Latin America revenue stretched 18%, illustrating the importance of emerging market exposure. Europe, Middle East and Africa sales rose a paltry 6%. DuPont's strongest operating segment was electronics and communications, which grew revenue 33%. The next-best segment was performance chemicals. Earnings Performance: DuPont posted adjusted earnings of 50 cents, crushing analysts' consensus estimate of 31 cents by 60%. The earnings represented 14% year-over-year growth. Despite the outstanding earnings tally, DuPont's stock only gained marginally on the report. DuPont has now exceeded consensus earnings targets by a double-digit percentage in four consecutive quarters. Its top-line beat analysts' consensus target by 7.2%. The company has an average earnings beat rate of 5.9% and an average sales miss rate of 0.4%. Dividend Information: DuPont pays a quarterly dividend of 41 cents, converting to an annual yield of 3.3%. It has grown the distribution 2.6% and 2.4%, annually, on average, over three- and five-year horizons. The dividend has stagnated during the past 12 months. Analyst Opinions: Of researchers following DuPont, nine, or 60%, rate its stock "buy" and six rate it "hold." None rank it "sell." The stock has a median 12-month target of $57.64. Citigroup, Buy, $62 Target Credit Suisse, Neutral, $58 Target Jefferies, Buy, $58 Target BB&T, Buy, $54 Target