Strong U.S. Dollar Weakens Sales at DuPont

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DuPont has topped forecasts for its first quarter earnings, but its sales dropped by 9% after being dragged down by the adverse impacts of currency from the strong U.S. dollar.

The company makes and sells chemicals, seeds, and food ingredients across the globe. It reported per share earnings of $1.34, which beat estimates by analysts by 3 cents. Cost cutting ended up being one of the keys to beating the earnings estimates of analysts.

However, sales were down by 9% to end the quarter at $9.2 billion and DuPont said the shortfall in sales was because of currency impacts, citing a hit of 6% because of the strong dollar.

A strong dollar makes the product from DuPont more expensive in other places across the globe, that have weaker currencies.

The dollar also cut about 25 cents a share from its earnings during the quarter, said the company in a prepared statement. Due to the sales miss, revenues were also short of forecasts on Wall Street.

In early morning trading on Wall Street, DuPont was down about 1.6% or $1.18.

DuPont announced that the board of directors at the company had approved a dividend for the second quarter of 49 cents a share, which is an increase of 4% over the dividend of last quarter that was 47 cents. This will be the fourth increase in dividend payments since the start of 2012.

DuPont also increased its estimate of the amount of headwind the dollar would impact on its earnings for the complete year.

The negative impact on currency for 2015 was increased to 80 cents a share which is up from a previous estimate of 60 cents a share, said the company in a prepared statement.

DuPont said it expects that it will be at the low end of the full-year outlook for 2015 that was previously communicated of $4.00 to $4.20 operating per share earnings.

DuPont CEO and Chairperson Ellen Kullman said the company delivered its volume and margin improvements in most of the post spin segments due to intense focus on disciplined execution, innovation and improvements in efficiency as well as cost reduction.