E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE: DD) announced layoffs of 1,500 workers, or about 2 percent of its workforce, in its earnings report released Tuesday. The company, based in Wilmington, Del., also lowered its forecast for the year.
The layoffs will take place over the next 12 to 18 months as part of a $450 million cost-cutting measure. Dupont employed about 70,000 people worldwide last year.
Stock in the Wilmington, Del.-based company plummeted more than 7 percent to $46.34 in Tuesday morning trading in New York.
The report cited declines in its electronics and communication division and in performance chemicals, particularly in Asia and Europe. Total sales declined 9 percent in the third quarter, to $7.4 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected sales to be $8.15 billion. Net income was $10 million compared with $458 million last year.
"Today, we are taking additional actions to improve competitiveness and accelerate market-driven innovation and growth by fine-tuning the organization, eliminating costs and expanding beyond our everyday focus on productivity," announced DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman.
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Kullman also cited weaker-than-expected global demand for titanium dioxide, an ingredient used in an array of products that include sunscreen and data storage devices. Dupont is the world’s largest manufacturer of the chemical.
Earnings for the third quarter ended June 30, excluding significant items, were 44 cents per share, down considerably from the 69 cents per share in the same quarter last year. The company reduced its profit forecast for the year to between $3.25 and $3.30, lower than the latest consensus estimate of $3.93.
The company did not specify where or in what segments it would be cutting jobs. Some of the layoffs are related to the sale of the company’s car paint business in August to Washington, D.C.-based asset manager Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) for $4.9 billion.