- THE MAGAZINE
WILMINGTON, Del.-- DuPont (NYSE:DD) reported earnings of 12-cents per share for the fourth quarter, a significant drop for the 47-cents per share earned in the same period a year earlier. Full-year earnings per share were $1.19 in 2001 versus $2.73 for the year 2000.
Segment sales in the fourth quarter of 2001 were down 17 percent from the previous year to $ 5.9 billion. This reflects a 9 percent reduction from lower volume, 3 percent from lower U.S. dollar prices and a 5 percent reduction from portfolio changes.
"In 2001, we restructured to meet current and future challenges; we focused capital and research expenditures on growth; and we sold the Pharmaceuticals and selected Polyester businesses. These actions helped us come out of a difficult year with exceptional financial strength," said Charles O. Holliday, Jr., DuPont chairman and CEO. "Clearly more remains to be done for us to deliver competitively superior earnings performance, which we will do."
For the quarter, consolidated sales totaled $5.2 billion compared to $6.3 billion in 2000. Segment sales were $5.9 billion versus $7.2 billion in 2000. Segment sales were down 12 percent, while fourth quarter income was down $370 million from the previous year to $124 million versus $494 million.
Following are highlights of results by business segment: Specialty Fibers -- Sales were10 percent lower reflecting a 6 percent volume reduction and 4 percent lower prices. After-tax operating income (ATOI) was 52 percent lower resulting from lower sales and margins. In the Apparel & Textile Science businesses, nylon textile prices and volumes were down significantly, reflecting a global recession in the apparel industry, while higher spandex volumes were more than offset by significantly lower prices. Sales and earnings from Nonwovens increased, reflecting strong sales of protective apparel, medical fabrics and construction products.
Pigments & Chemicals -- Sales declined 16 percent on 10 percent lower volume and 6 percent lower prices. Forty-four percent lower segment earnings principally reflect lower demand and prices for White Pigment & Mineral Products, significant declines in DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise volumes, and lower demand in Fluorochemical markets.
Nylon -- Sales decreased 19 percent with ATOI down 73 percent, principally reflecting the impact of significantly lower worldwide flooring and intermediates volumes and lower margins. Demand continued to weaken in the flooring market, reflecting reduced spending and significant inventory reductions at carpet mills.
DuPont said it expects 2002 underlying earnings per share to exceed those of 2001, despite continual recessionary pressures through at least the first quarter 2002. It also anticipates its first quarter 2002 underlying earnings per share will be substantially above fourth quarter 2001, though below first quarter 2001.
"We recognize that there is more rough water ahead for manufacturers, at least through the first half of 2002," Holliday said. "But the actions we took last year position us to grow earnings per share in 2002, and we will continue to take the steps necessary to meet our longer term growth targets."
DuPont (www.DuPont.com) is a science company, delivering science-based solutions in markets such as food and nutrition, health care, apparel, home and construction, electronics and transportation.