DuPont An investment analysis DuPont makes a variety of high-value products for industry today, including polymers, chemicals, fibers, and petroleum products..products for agriculture, electronics, transportation, apparel, food, aerospace, construction, and health care. DuPont serves customers in these and other industries every day, offering “better things for better living” as the company prepares to begin its third century of scientific, technological, commercial, and social achievement. DuPont is a research and technology based chemical and energy company with its annual revenue exceeding $39 billion. Eleuthre Irne du Pont de Nemours, a French immigrant, established DuPont in 1802 in a small Delaware town. E.I.
du Pont was a student of Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, and when he came to America he brought some of the new ideas about the manufacturing of consistently reliable gun powder. His product ignited when it was supposed to, in a manner consistent with expectations. This was greatly appreciated by the citizens of the growing nation, including Thomas Jefferson, who wrote thanking du Pont for the quality of his powder, which was being used to clear the land at Monticello. Many other heroes of early America owed their success, and their lives, to the dependable quality of DuPont’s first product. This represents a good, strong start for a company.
DuPont, which is moving through the last decade of the twentieth century and toward its third century, emphasizes several things; competing globally; sharpening its business focus; increasing productivity; committing to safety, health, and environmental excellence; and continuing to extend its significant science and technological achievement. One of DuPont’s major strategies is to focus on businesses in which DuPont has core competencies, where DuPont can build competitive advantage. The most notable example of this focus was the 1993 transaction in which DuPont acquired ICI’s nylon business and ICI acquired DuPont’s acrylics business. This strengthened the company’s position in the global nylon business while divesting a business that no longer fit its portfolio. Another major factor in the transformation of the company in the1990s was the focus on reducing costs and improving productivity.
This was necessary to give the company the flexibility for competitive pricing and to grow market share and earnings. DuPont had strong plants in several countries around the world for many years, and their globalization trend continued in the 1990s. New plants opened in Spain, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, and China, and a major technical service center opened in Japan. In 1994, a Conoco joint venture began producing oil from the Ardalin Field in the Russian Arctic–the first major oil field brought into production by a Russian/Western partnership since demise of the Soviet Union. A further major development was the redemption of 156 million DuPont shares from Seagram for $8.8 billion in cash and warrants — one of the largest stock redemptions in history. This large block of shares was redeemed at a 13 percent discount to market price.
While DuPont later sold some new shares, there are 18 percent fewer shares currently outstanding than just prior to the redemption. This resulted in a significant opportunity for wealth creation for our stockholders. The share redemption was made possible by four years of cost reduction, productivity improvement and organizational change that have made DuPont strong financially and allowed them to move decisively and quickly. The DuPont that emerged from the company’s transformation in the 1990s has often been described by people inside and outside the company as “the new DuPont.” This characterization is only partly appropriate, because while DuPont has changed, there are many things that remain the same. The core competency in science and technology, the commitment to safety, the concern for people, the feeling of community, the emphasis on personal and corporate integrity, the future focus, and indeed the willingness to change. DuPont is a company not only out for their own interest, but also for the best interest of the world.
What has always set DuPont apart is the quality of the people, people committed to making life easier and better for everybody, proud to be a part of an enterprise making “better things for better living.” That was true in 1802. And it is just as true today. In the second quarter of 1995 DuPont reported earnings per share of $1.70, up 47 percent from the $1.16 earned in the second quarter 1994. Net income totaled $938 million, compared to $792 million earned in 1994. Both earnings per share and net income increased 27 percent.”These outstanding results continue to reflect strong revenue gains and ongoing productivity improvements,” said DuPont Chairman Edgar S.Woolard Jr.
Sales for the second quarter were $11.1 billion, up 9 percent from prior year. The third quarter of the 1995 business year led DuPont to a $1.38 per share earning. This number exceeded the $.95 earned in the third quarter of 1994 by more than 45%. Net income totaled $769 million compared to $647 million earned in 1994. Sales for the third quarter were $10.2 billion, up 4 percent from the prior year. DuPont saw a drop in the earnings per share price for the fourth quarter of 1995. The $1.13 per share of the fourth quarter was $.25 lower than the third quarters report.
But the report was still $.18 higher than the fourth quarter report from 1994. The average rise in earnings per share per quarter from 1994 to 1995 is roughly $.40, which is not bad at all. The full year’s earnings were $5.61 per share compared to $4.00 per share in 1994 (Graph 3). The average number of shares outstanding in 1995 declined 14 percent due to the redemption of stock from Seagram in 1995. “This was our second consecutive year of record earnings and significant year-over-year improvement,” said John A. Krol, DuPont president and chief executive officer.
“These outstanding results are a tribute to the talent and dedication of DuPont’s people worldwide. We are pleased with the progress we have made to increase profitability and expand our businesses globally.” In a day and age where any thing can happen, diversity in production is key. No company comes close to the variance that DuPont expresses in their production. Share earnings continue to rise throughout the past two years, as do the price per share numbers (Graph1), and there is no reason for the pattern to change. DuPont is obviously a company that is going places in the global community. If something goes wrong with the clothing industry, they will still compete in the construction industry.
If something happens in transportation, electronics will be there to hold strong for the company. With a company that is so diversified in its production, DuPont is a smart investment, and I fully endorse it.