DuPont raises 2021 forecast on robust demand from chip, auto makers By Reuters

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© Reuters. A logo is pictured outside of Dupont offices in Geneva, Switzerland, April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By Arathy S Nair

(Reuters) -Industrial materials maker DuPont (NYSE:) raised its full-year profit and revenue forecasts and breezed past first-quarter expectations on Tuesday, boosted by demand from chip companies as well as a recovery in automobile markets.

The company, which makes everything from brake fluid to fabric for protective garments, is benefiting from a recovery in demand from a COVID-19 pandemic-led slump and costs cuts it implemented last year to cope with the fallout of the health crisis.

DuPont, once part of the erstwhile chemical giant DowDuPont, now expects net sales between $15.70 billion and $15.90 billion and adjusted earnings per share in the range of $3.60 to $3.75 for the year ended December 2021.

It had previously forecast sales between $15.40 billion and $15.60 billion on earnings of $3.30 to $3.45 per share.

Still, the company warned of a $300 million hit in the year from escalating raw material, logistics costs and supply constraints of key raw materials.

It said the impact from the costs was only about $20 million in the first quarter, but expects them to rise to about $90 million in the second and to carry through the next couple of quarters.

DuPont said it hopes to offset the hit by raising prices in the low single digits for the year.

The company has been tweaking its portfolio; it has separated its Nutrition & Biosciences business, agreed to divest two other businesses, and struck a deal to buy Laird Performance Materials for $2.3 billion to expand in advanced electronic materials used in smart and autonomous vehicles among others.

Adjusted earnings per share of 91 cents for the first quarter beat estimates of 76 cents, while sales of $4 billion surpassed the $3.85 billion estimated by analysts, according to Refinitiv IBES.

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