(Corrects net income in second paragraph.)
Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- DuPont Co., the most valuable U.S. chemical maker, posted higher third-quarter profit and sales than analysts estimated as prices rose for titanium-dioxide pigment. The company raised the range of its full-year forecast.
Net income climbed 23 percent to $452 million, or 48 a share, from $367 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier, Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont said today in a statement. Earnings excluding costs related to the acquisition of Danisco A/S, Imperilis herbicide tree damage and seed license payment were 69 cents, surpassing the 56-cent average of 14 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales advanced 32 percent to $9.24 billion from $7 billion, beating the $8.88 billion average of analysts’ estimates.
Full-year earnings will be $3.97 to $4.05 a share, compared with a July prediction of $3.90 to $4.05, DuPont said. The forecast excludes costs for the acquisition of Danisco and a licensing payment.
DuPont has surpassed expectations in each of the 11 quarters Ellen Kullman has been chief executive officer. Profit more than doubled in the performance chemicals unit, the world’s biggest maker of titanium dioxide, which is also known by its chemical formula TiO2. Prices for the white pigment used to add opacity to paints and plastic have climbed 38 percent in a year amid globally tight supplies, according to ICIS data.
“To take advantage of this tightness and offset escalating titanium ore costs, TiO2 producers are continuing to announce U.S. price increases,” David Begleiter, a New York-based analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, said in an Oct. 18 note. “We expect continued strong TiO2 pricing in 2012.”
DuPont rose 2.1 percent to $46.09 yesterday in New York. The shares have dropped 7.6 percent this year, giving the company a market capitalization of $43 billion.
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