DuPont says lower sales of corn seeds is hurting its results, and cuts annual guidance

NEW YORK, N.Y. – DuPont is cutting its profit forecast because of weaker sales of corn seeds.

The Wilmington, Delaware, company said Thursday that corn seed sales are down in the second quarter, and seed inventory write-downs were larger than it expected. The company added that herbicide sales and lower selling prices for refrigerants were also hurting its business.

DuPont now expects adjusted annual income of $4 to $4.10 per share, down from its previous expected range of $4.20 to $4.45 per share. Analysts expect $4.28 per share, according to FactSet.

DuPont also expects that its second-quarter income will be lower than last year’s quarterly total of $1.28 per share. Analysts expect $1.46 per share, on average. The company expects to post a restructuring charge of $270 million pretax, or 20 cents per share, in the second quarter as it moves to streamline its business and spin off its performance chemicals business next year.

The company said the harsh winter weather also hurt sales of herbicides used on corn. It said soybean seed sales are improving, but those gains are not enough to offset the reduced sales of corn seeds.

Shares of The DuPont Co. fell $1.50, or 2.2 per cent, to $66.20 in aftermarket trading. The stock fell 12 cents to $67.70 during the day.