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DuPont reports drop in 3rd quarter earnings

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DuPont reports sales earnings fell again in the third quarter, just over a week after CEO Ellen Kullman officially stepped down.

DuPont saw $4.9 billion in third-quarter sales, down 17 percent from last year. Operating earnings per share were 13 cents, versus 39 cents a year ago.

The Wilmington-based chemical giant's year-to-date earnings per share are now at $2.49, down from $2.79 a year ago. And they've earned $19.8 billion total so far this year -- a 12 percent drop from 2014.

 

The company says it's due to a weak dollar and challenges in the agricultural and oil and gas markets overseas. In July, they cited some of those same issues in cutting their earnings forecast for the year.

 

But they note the Q3 drop was offset some by cost reductions -- including to employee bonuses.

 

It's been a hectic year for one of the First State's flagship brands. In May, DuPont survived a proxy showdown with an activist investor who hoped to make $4 billion in cuts by winning four seats on the company's board and then splitting it up.

Observers counted that as a win for CEO Ellen Kullman. But she announced her resignation earlier this month after six years at the helm, saying it was time for new leadership.

Board member Edward Breen is serving as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.

DuPont has also pared down its footprint in Delaware. In July, they spun off their performance chemicals unit, Chemours -- another factor in that lower earnings forecast.

A month later, Chemours announced plans to cut its own costs by shuttering its longtime plant at Edge Moor in North Wilmington.

Some said that cast doubt on whether the company would remain headquartered in Delaware's largest city. Chemours has pledged to stay in Wilmington at least through next year.

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