Analysts spend lots of time during earnings season perusing releases and other indications of companies' performance. As such, the quality of communications provided by corporations is too often taken for granted.
It shouldn't be: For instance, chemical maker DuPont
The culprit in the earnings dip involved the expiration of a couple of patents in the company's pharmaceutical business. DuPont's Cozaar and Hyzaar both were the subjects of expiring patents during the quarter, a combination that shaved $0.13 from profits.
Nevertheless, all of DuPont's segments experienced year-on-year revenue gains to one degree or another. According to CFO Nicholas Fanandakis, in agricultural and nutrition, for instance, despite business divestitures in the segment, sales were up 2%, including market shares gains in both North American corn seed and soybeans. Conversely, Monsanto
And as Fanandakis also noted during the call, "We are raising our (2010) guidance from a range of $2.90 to $3.05 per share to about $3.10 per share, excluding significant items ... This increase in guidance is based on strong performance year-to-date and confidence in our continued ability to deliver results as we finish the year."
At the same time, CEO Ellen Kullman said that, "(We are) constantly challenging our teams to be more responsive to local markets, particularly in the developing world. We continue to invest in our sales force, R&D centers, and application laboratories in critical growth markets around the world."
All in all, the chemicals industry has performed relatively well this earnings season. Sure, Ashland
However, despite its explainable earnings slip, I continue to watch DuPont closely. I'm convinced that the company is well managed and that it will derive increasing value, especially from its agricultural successes.