Kicking free of the drag from weakening U.S. housing and automobile markets, DuPont
For the quarter, DuPont increased its net profit to $526 million, or $0.56 a share, from $485 million, or $0.52 per share. Revenues increased 6.7% to $6.68 billion, from $6.31 billion.
DuPont, which obtains about two-thirds of its sales outside the United States, falls in line behind a host of international companies that have saved their September-ended quarters with international growth in the face of weakening U.S. results. It was a trend that began in the June quarter and has only intensified with the September period.
On Thursday, for instance, DuPont was joined by compadre Dow Chemical
In DuPont's case, as Executive Vice President and CFO Jeffrey Keefer noted on the company's post-release conference call, "The standout region this quarter was clearly Latin America. Sales were about $900 million (there), up 24% versus last year's same period." From the perspective of the company's five segments, while all were strong during the quarter, the one that really blew the doors off was agriculture and nutrition, which increased its revenues more than three times as fast as any other unit.
Without turning this into Ag 101, the agriculture and nutrition unit benefited from significant global gains in seed corn -- ah, the wonders of our ethanol obsession -- soybeans, and canola, along with fungicide sales in Latin America and Europe. Those gains offset slowing chemical sales in North America.
So what's the message here? I realize I've touted the theme of international strength among the bigger reporting companies as an offset to U.S. weakness, but I believe strongly that it makes sense for Fools to search for those companies that generate a significant portion of their revenues outside the United States. It's these companies that will best be able to prosper in anything short of a global recession. DuPont clearly is such a company.
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't hold financial positions in any of the companies mentioned. He does welcome your questions or comments. UPS and Dow Chemical are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.