DuPont raises '08 outlook

by Eric Schroeder
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WILMINGTON, DEL. — Expectations that its agriculture and nutrition business will grow and help compensate for a slower U.S. economy has prompted E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. to increase its 2007 full-year earnings outlook and raise expectations for business results in 2008.

The company on Wednesday said it expects full-year 2007 earnings to be at the upper end of its previously announced range of $3.15 to $3.20 a share. At the same time, DuPont raised its 2008 earnings outlook to a range of $3.35 to $3.55 per share, up from $3.31 to $3.52 reported on Oct. 23.

"For the full year 2007, we will deliver 11% or more earnings growth despite a slowing U.S. economy and higher raw material prices," said Charles O. Holliday Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. "Looking ahead, we are confident that our improved business mix and ongoing initiatives to lower cost and boost returns on innovation will enable us to deliver attractive growth in earnings in 2008."

Shares of DuPont jumped more than 5%, or $2.24, to $44.99 in afternoon trading on Wednesday, but remained well off the 52-week high of $53.90.

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