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BUSINESS & SEEDS: DuPont shares plunge 6.3% as profit misses estimates




                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  DUPONT SHARES PLUNGE 6.3% AS PROFIT MISSES ESTIMATES

SOURCE: Bloomberg, USA

AUTHOR: Jack Kaskey

URL:    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aSLDwBkvZGyQ&refer=home

DATE:   24.07.2007

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DUPONT SHARES PLUNGE 6.3% AS PROFIT MISSES ESTIMATES

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Shares of DuPont Co., the third- biggest U.S. chemical maker, plunged the most in two years after the company reported second-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates amid slumping housing and auto markets.

Net income dropped 0.3 percent to $972 million from $975 million a year earlier, Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont said today in a statement. Per-share profit was unchanged at $1.04, less than the $1.07 analysts expected.

Chief Executive Officer Charles O. Holliday Jr. said the U.S. housing recession eroded demand for Tyvek house wrap and Corian countertops. Profit from paint fell as U.S. automaker sales declined, and raw-material costs climbed. DuPont, the world’s largest maker of corn seeds, lost sales to Monsanto Co. and said revenue from soybeans and cotton herbicides slipped.

”You are seeing the effects of autos and housing in their numbers,” said Gene Pisasale, who helps manage $25 billion, including DuPont shares, at Mercantile Bankshares Corp. in Baltimore. ”I was hoping they would do a bit better in agriculture, especially with corn plantings up so much.”

DuPont tumbled $3.36, or 6.3 percent, to $49.90 at 4:19 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The percentage drop was the biggest since July 26, 2005, and the largest among the 30 equities in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. DuPont’s shares have gained 23 percent from a year ago.

[...]

’Arrest Share Loss’

Next year, DuPont will ”arrest our share loss in North America and continue our sales gains in other regions,” Holliday said on the analyst call. ”We have turned the corner.”

DuPont is ramping up production of genetically modified seeds and will be able to meet demand next year, Fyrwald said. The company also plans to use more of its propriety genetic traits, reducing licensing fees paid to Monsanto. Both companies add genes to corn, soybeans, cotton and canola to make them resistant to weed killer and insects.

Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of modified seeds, said on June 28 that third-quarter profit jumped 71 percent. The company grabbed as much as 5 percentage points of U.S. corn-seed sales on demand for varieties that boost yields.

U.S. farmers increased corn plantings 19 percent this year and reduced soybean acreage by 15 percent.

DuPont’s profit from pharmaceuticals jumped 21 percent to $241 million on sales of hypertension drugs Cozaar and Hyzaar. Royalties from the drugs, marketed by Merck & Co., will drop when U.S. patents expire in 2010 and reach zero after 2013, the company has said.

Sales gains reflect a 2 percent increase in global prices, 1 percent demand growth and a 3 percent currency gain as the dollar weakened against major currencies, DuPont said.

Most sales were outside the U.S., including 29 percent in Europe, where revenue jumped 12 percent on higher demand and the dollar’s drop. U.S. sales rose 1 percent on higher prices.

Revenue in the second quarter of 2006 was $7.84 billion.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  DUPONT LAUNCHES NEW SOYBEAN RESEARCH CENTER

SOURCE: Food Navigator, France

AUTHOR: Lorraine Heller

URL:    http://www.foodnavigator.com/news/ng.asp?n=78152

DATE:   12.07.2007

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DUPONT LAUNCHES NEW SOYBEAN RESEARCH CENTER

12/07/2007 - Agricultural firm DuPont is to open a new soybean research facility to enhance its soybean product development and testing efforts, the firm announced today.

The move by DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred business is part of DuPont’s global effort to reinvest $100m into its seed business to strengthen and drive commercialization of its pipeline of new products.

The new center will be located in Lawrence, Kansas, and will develop new soy varieties that specifically address the agricultural environment in Kansas, southeast Nebraska and western Missouri.

These will include varieties with tolerance to drought, soybean cyst nematode, charcoal rot, stem borer, sudden death syndrome, Phytophthora root rot and other insect and disease protection traits. All are significant yield robbers in the geography covered by the new center, said the firm.

”This new center continues to build upon the product performance advantage Pioneer has firmly established in North America,” said Dennis Byron, Pioneer vice president of crop product development.

”With annual yield increases more than triple the industry average, Pioneer brand soybeans developed with proprietary genetic markers continue to outpace the competition, reinforcing Pioneer as the brand leader in soybean performance,” he said.

Pioneer is currently leasing an office building and land, with plans to build a permanent facility in Lawrence in the near future.

With the opening of the Lawrence Soybean Research Center, Pioneer has three crop-specific research locations in Kansas. The other two locations are in Garden City (corn) and Manhattan (sorghum).

DuPont’s reinvestment plan, announced earlier this year, is designed to increase the firm’s innovation and meet growing demand for grain. It includes the addition of more than 400 positions, mainly in research and development in Pioneer Hi-Bred.

The reinvestment comes after an aggressive reorganization strategy in the firm’s nutrition and crop protection businesses. Announced in December 2006, this involved closing or streamlining 10 plants and slashing 1,500 jobs globally.

According to DuPont, its Pioneer business will be expanding R&D efforts at 67 of its 92 research centers worldwide. New positions will be filled by redeploying current employees from other DuPont businesses and outside hiring.

Other recent actions taken as part of the reinvestment strategy include the opening of a new corn and soybean seed research facility in Brazil, announced last month and expected to be fully operational by 2008.



                                  PART 3

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TITLE:  PIONEER RESEARCHERS ACCELERATE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW AND IMPROVED SEED PRODUCTS

SOURCE: Pioneer HiBred, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.pioneer.com/web/site/portal/menuitem.682f4124856d56c8b9b44b24d10093a0/

DATE:   03.07.2007

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PIONEER RESEARCHERS ACCELERATE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW AND IMPROVED SEED PRODUCTS

Expect new Pioneer genetics in combination with superior technology traits for 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa, July 3, 2007 - Researchers with Pioneer Hi-Bred are accelerating the development of new and improved products, traits and enabling technologies, giving growers the tools they need to meet the rapid growth in demand for corn.

”Our Accelerated Trait Integration process has allowed us to speed the development and dramatically grow supply of our products with triple stacks - corn rootworm protection, corn borer protection and glyphosate resistance,” says Mike Chapman, Pioneer research director. ”For corn growers, it means they’ll have better corn seed choices for the 2008 growing season.”

Accelerated Trait Integration allows Pioneer researchers to combine base genetics with key traits one to two years sooner than previous methods.

Chapman further explains that the vast majority of new product releases for 2008 will carry what are becoming the ”essential” trait stacks in the first year of commercialization. In 2009, Pioneer intends to have a triple stack option available for 100 percent of its new base genetics. Growers will be able to select either the base genetics or combinations of corn rootworm protection, corn borer protection and glyphosate resistance.

”Demand for triple stacks offering superior corn rootworm, corn borer, and western bean cutworm protection from Herculex® XTRA, as well as resistance to glyphosate, Roundup Ready® 2, has made us adjust our research and commercialization strategy,” says Chapman. ”To deliver the products our customers want, when they want them, we now integrate the desired traits into our superior genetics much earlier in our research and development process.”

Chapman explains that the heart of Accelerated Trait Integration is making the inbred conversions earlier in the development pipeline to allow advanced research testing to be conducted on the desired stacked combinations for all pre-commercial hybrids in the pipeline. This requires aggressively integrating technology traits early in the development process, increasing the number of growing cycles per year by using numerous tropical and temperate locations throughout the world, and use of molecular markers to ensure optimal conversions are obtained.

Chapman notes that for the past three years Pioneer has made a multimillion dollar investment to make this happen and is an industry leader in their capabilities.

”Accelerated Trait Integration has allowed us to cut the time it takes to bring the best trait options in our best genetics, without cutting any corners in research testing,” says Chapman. ”In fact, we are generating more product performance data prior to advancement and commercialization decisions than ever before.”

Even further advancements are anticipated as DuPont executes the $100 million reinvestment in Pioneer that was announced earlier this year.

”The new products that result from this reinvestment will help growers further improve their productivity and meet the growing demand for corn,” says Chapman.

To find out more about the 2008 lineup of elite Pioneer® brand corn hybrids suitable for your area or to view product test plots, contact your local Pioneer sales professional.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is the world’s leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries. DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.


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