DuPont earnings fall sharply, will cut over a thousand jobs

DuPont says it will eliminate 1,500 positions globally, about 2% of its workforce, over the next 12-18 months in response to revenue from continuing operations falling 9% in the third quarter, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The Wilmington, Del.-based chemical and performance coatings company will trim $450 million in costs.

Revenue fell to $7.4 billion in the third quarter from $8.1 billion over the same period a year earlier, and net income dropped to $10 million from $452 million. Dupont, which currently has 70,000 employees, did not give details on which global offices or divisions will be cut but the earnings report contributed to a broad sell-off on Wall Street, with investors concerned about the global economy, the leadership transition in China, warnings of weak demand in two product areas and in Asia, the fiscal cliff, and the presidential election.

Earnings were reduced in the third quarter of this year by a $242 million impairment charge in the electronics and communications segment and the performance-materials business.  DuPont has been transforming its portfolio of businesses for years by selling traditional chemical lines and expanding into agriculture seeds, nutrition, and safety.

-Bill O’Leary

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