DuPont posts $629 million quarterly loss, trims outlook for '09

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co, the third largest US chemicals manufacturer reported a net loss of $629 million, or 70 cents a share a reversal on its fourth quarter 2007 performance when the company posted a earnings of $545 million, or 60 cents a share.

The Wilmington, Delaware based company cut its profit forecast range as the slowing global economy is seen to further impact demand for its products in the badly hit auto and construction sectors.

The company said, excluding costs from a restructuring program it would have lost 28 cents a share which is worse that what analysts had predicted at 20 cents a share for the latest period.

Du Pont has also revised downward its earning forecast for 2009 in a range between $2 to $2.5 a share as against the earlier projection of between $2.25 and $2.75 a share.

The forecast was reduced as the weak December demand has continued into January according to a company spokeswoman. The company has also exceeded its goal of cutting 4,000 contractors in a bid to reduce costs on expectations of continuing weak demand.

Ellen Kullman, the company's new chief executive said that they do not underestimate the difficulties presented by the current environment.