WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DuPont today announced that its board of directors has authorized a share repurchase program for $1 billion of the company's common stock. This program, expected to be completed in 2013, is subject to receiving the proceeds from the Performance Coatings divestiture. The company also updated 2012 earnings guidance to be at the high end of the previous range of $3.25 to $3.30 per share on a continuing operations basis, excluding significant items.
"Our fourth quarter performance is as expected and at the high end of our previous guidance. I am pleased that our board authorized a significant stock repurchase program. This program reflects our confidence in the underlying fundamentals of our business as well as our commitment to deliver value to our shareholders. The buyback delivers meaningful near-term value with the remaining proceeds from the divestiture providing us the ability to further strengthen our balance sheet, preserving our flexibility to invest in selective growth opportunities," said Ellen Kullman, Chair and CEO of DuPont.
The company also announced its current outlook for 2013 earnings to grow low- to mid-single digits with sales growing in the low-single digits. The outlook reflects the view that all of the company's segments will deliver solid earnings growth versus 2012, except for Performance Chemicals, which is expected to be down substantially with margins decreasing six to seven percentage points in 2013. Excluding Performance Chemicals, the company would expect earnings growth of at least high-teens in 2013 versus 2012.
"While we are seeing indications that market conditions are firming up in some areas, volatility and uncertainty also persist," said Kullman. "Our current outlook calls for our 2013 earnings to grow low- to mid-single digits over 2012 as the investments we are making in agriculture and nutrition, industrial biosciences and advanced materials continue to deliver results offset by the weakness in titanium dioxide markets. We will provide more specific guidance with our fourth quarter earnings report."
Additionally, the company announced its intention to begin reporting "operating earnings" (Non-GAAP) in 2013. Operating earnings is defined as earnings from continuing operations (GAAP) excluding significant items and non-operating pension and other postretirement employee benefit (OPEB) costs, which are impacted by changes in interest rates and plan returns. For the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2012, non-operating pension/OPEB costs were approximately $.36 per share on a continuing operations basis. The company will provide further information concerning the new reporting change later this week.
DuPont will host a webcast and slide presentation for shareholders, investors and the media today at 5:00 p.m. EST, accessible through the DuPont Investor Center website at www.investors.dupont.com.
Use of Non-GAAP Measures
Management believes that certain non-GAAP measurements are meaningful to investors because they provide insight with respect to ongoing operating results of the company. Such measurements are not recognized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and should not be viewed as an alternative to GAAP measures of performance. A reconciliation of 2012 earnings guidance is provided on the company's Investor Center at www.investors.dupont.com. In reviewing this information, please also refer to the company's report on Form 10-Q for the period ending Sept. 30, 2012, specifically its disclosures regarding customer claims and restructuring charges.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements which may be identified by their use of words like "plans," "expects," "will," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates" or other words of similar meaning. All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the company's growth strategy, product development, regulatory approval, market position, anticipated benefits of acquisitions, outcome of contingencies, such as litigation and environmental matters, expenditures and financial results, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are based on certain assumptions and expectations of future events which may not be realized. Forward-looking statements also involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's control. Some of the important factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those projected in any such forward-looking statements are: fluctuations in energy and raw material prices; failure to develop and market new products and optimally manage product life cycles; significant litigation and environmental matters; failure to appropriately manage process safety and product stewardship issues; changes in laws and regulations or political conditions; global economic and capital markets conditions, such as inflation, interest and currency exchange rates; business or supply disruptions; security threats, such as acts of sabotage, terrorism or war, weather events and natural disasters; inability to protect and enforce the company's intellectual property rights; and integration of acquired businesses and completion of divestitures of underperforming or non-strategic assets or businesses. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments or new information.