Excluding one-time items, DuPont earned $494 million, or 47 cents per share, compared with $583 million, or 55 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The 1999 results in particular were affected by DuPont's $7 billion spinoff of its Conoco subsidiary.
Fourth-quarter revenue was $6.26 billion, down from $7.70 billion in the fourth quarter of 1999.
DuPont edged Wall Street expectations of 46 cents per share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.
Raw materials costs soared by $1.3 billion during the year, mostly on the price of crude oil. Like other chemical manufacturers, DuPont is heavily dependent on oil, natural gas and other petroleum byproducts.
The cost of raw materials soared by $250 million in the fourth quarter alone, the company said.
"Our employees worldwide have done a tremendous job countering some of the worst conditions in our industry in a decade," said Charles O. Holliday Jr., DuPont chairman and chief executive. "Six segments had higher revenue and five improved earnings versus last year, a very solid performance."
An 11 percent slump in U.S. sales was partly offset by a 2 percent gain in overseas sales, but overall sales volume saw a decline of about 5 percent in the quarter.
A strong overseas dollar also hurt the company's profits, with the weak euro reducing quarterly earnings by 5 cents a share and by 15 cents a share for the year, the company said.
For the year, DuPont earned $2.31 billion, or $2.21 per share, on revenue of $29.27 billion. In the year-ago period, DuPont earned $7.69 billion, or $7.08 billion, on revenue of $27.89 billion.
BACK TO TOP
Pfizer's Profits Rise on Strong Viagra Sales
Pfizer, the No. 1 U.S. drugmaker, reported today a 20 percent gain in fourth-quarter operating earnings, meeting Wall Street expectations, helped by sales of its blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug, Lipitor, and arthritis treatment Celebrex.
The New York-based company, also known for its anti-impotence pill Viagra, reported earnings of $1.76 billion, or 27 cents per diluted share, excluding the impact of special items and merger-related costs. In the same year-ago period, the company earned $1.47 billion, or 23 cents per share.
Analysts, on average, had estimated the drugmaker, which acquired New Jersey drug maker Warner-Lambert Co. last year along with Warner-Lambert's crown jewel, Lipitor, would earn 27 cents a share.
After special items and merger related costs, quarterly net income fell 3 percent to $1.42 billion compared with $1.27 billion in the year ago period. Earnings per share after items remained flat at 23 cents.
"With remarkable speed and focus, we have rapidly integrated the industry's two fastest-growing companies while more than doubling our initially forecasted year-2000 merger savings to about $430 million," said Chairman William Steere Jr.
Looking at 2001, Pfizer forecast earnings per share of $1.27 or better, excluding items, and said it plans to spend $5 billion on research and development. Pfizer said it sees 25 percent earnings growth through 2002, and double-digit recorded revenue growth in 2001.
The company said fourth-quarter revenues with special items rose 8 percent to $8.1 billion compared with $7.5 billion a year ago. Reported global sales of prescription drugs in the United States rose 19 percent to $4.2 billion, excluding the impact of foreign exchange and the company's withdrawal last year of diabetes drug Rezulin following safety concerns.