How Much Did DuPont Change in 2011?

DuPont (NYSE: DD  ) is one of the longest-lasting business legacies in American history. Starting as a gunpowder factory more than 200 years ago, DuPont is now a $42 billion company with a place in the elite Dow Jones Industrial Index (INDEX: ^DJI  ) and a mouthwatering 3.5% dividend yield.

What's another year to such a storied company? Let's have a look at how 2011 treated the chemical giant.

Just the numbers
From a fundamental point of view, DuPont is doing mighty fine. The company has beaten Wall Street's earnings estimates in each of its quarterly reports this year by an average of 14%. GAAP earnings are up by 10% year over year in spite of heavy integration costs from a big acquisition.

The $5.8 billion deal for Danish food-ingredients giant Danisco is transformative even for a company of DuPont's stature and size. The American food-chemicals market has belonged to Monsanto (NYSE: MON  ) and Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW  ) , but now there's a third horse in that race.

DuPont also bought silicon-ink maker Innovalight from a consortium of venture backers that included nanotech expert Harris & Harris (Nasdaq: TINY  ) . That's a direct play on the solar-power market, as Innovalight's ink is used to make solar cells. And if you still think chemicals are boring, DuPont also showed off inkjet-printed OLED screens featuring technologies from Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL  ) and is pouring research into making OLED displays even better.

So DuPont is keeping an eye on the horizon ahead, not content to rest on its considerable laurels. That's why this is a stock to hold for the next 10 years and beyond. This is exactly the kind of rock-solid stock that will help your retirement portfolio survive the end of Social Security and Medicare.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Universal Display and creating a synthetic long position in Monsanto. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2011, at 10:26 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    "DuPont is now a $42 billion company with a place in the elite Dow Jones Industrial Index (INDEX: ^DJI ) and a mouthwatering 3.5% dividend yield."

    What a ludicrous statement, folks!

    13 years ago in 1998, DuPont was a $110 billion company with a much larger number of outstanding shares, 1.3 billion shares! That was before the drastic shrinkage of the 21st century. And the dividend only appears good at first glance because of the depressed stock price, flat-lined over the past 13 years, trading mostly in the forties. ...funfun..

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2011, at 10:34 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    "That's why this is a stock to hold for the next 10 years and beyond."

    Really? Ten years ago, on Dec. 31, 2001, DuPont shares closed at 42.51. Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, DD closed at 45.77. These shares have gone rigourously nowhere in a decade. With the same entrenched mediocre Management in place, why should investors expect any different result in another ten years? ...funfun..

  • Report this Comment On January 01, 2012, at 6:02 AM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    "The American food-chemicals market has belonged to Monsanto (NYSE: MON ) and Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW ) , but now there's a third horse in that race."

    Monsanto (MON) is not in the food-chemicals business or in the intensely competitive business of food additives and enzymes, as is DuPont. Monsanto is the largest and most innovative global enterprise in seeds. Its only major "chemicals" is its Roundup herbicide. ...funfun..

  • Report this Comment On January 02, 2012, at 9:47 PM, cbrs wrote:

    Dupont suffers from severe identity crisis, we are a chemical company, no, we are a science co. well we're not sure what we are. When the chemical company owned Conoco the stock was always in the $50-$75 per share range, but Chad Holliday wasn't happy with being a chemical company and got out of the petroleum business and Dupont became a science co.. The stock hasn't seen those prices since. Enter Mrs. Kullman, who is only following the plan put in place by Holliday, to make Dupont a science co. and not a chemical co.. This stock will never see $ 60.00 or more again because these two CEO's have hacked this company apart, piece by piece, all in the name of science. Investors beware, look at what this stock has done in the past 20 years and see how it has dwindled because of outright poor decisions by CEO's that have been more worried about Dupont's identity than making money for the investors, they say otherwise but the past twenty years show us something different.

  • Report this Comment On January 02, 2012, at 10:46 PM, investwize234 wrote:

    DuPont is poised to rock above $70 over the next year. Unlike many stodgy, conservative companies in this industry segment, Kulman and her staff have the vision to look beyond the next 10 years. I believe their bet on food ingredients and solar cells is right on target. Big bets that will have a big payoff. Their detractors are too narrowly focused on the technologies of today, not tomorrow.

  • Report this Comment On January 03, 2012, at 2:53 AM, jrainspe wrote:

    This company, in the past, had some great scientists and engineers. However, they had the most mediocre group of managers in world, and from what I've seen lately, that hasn't changed. Someone always bought their "dogs" for pennies on the dollar and turned them into profitable businesses. They continue to make strategic and marketing mistakes that waste billions of dollars and make products unprofitable, which they then ditch to some enterprising group who hasn't forgotten how to manufacture. I see no hope for this company until they hire from "outside" the company and shake up the staid and retired in place management they now have.

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