Chemical maker DuPont
The results from the company, which sells to the automotive, electronic, agricultural and personal protection sectors, will probably be seen as an indicator of the chemical industry's health.
While the strong earnings topped analysts' expectations, much of the gain came from about $300 million in cost cuts.
Also, DuPont narrowed its earnings outlook for the full year.
Wall Street typically prefers to see profits generated by sales rather than cost cuts, but that should not be a black eye for capital-intensive companies like DuPont, Sterne Agee analyst Mark Connelly said.
The operating performance here is pretty credible, he said. When a basic material company demonstrates substantial cost reductions, it deserves some credit.
DuPont said it is seeing demand for products slowly improve.
With a more streamlined organization, permanent fixed cost reductions, and increased productivity, DuPont is well-positioned to capitalize as markets improve, Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman said in a statement.
Net income rose to $409 million, or 45 cents per share, from $367 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 18 percent to $5.96 billion from $7.29 billion. Analysts expected $6.14 billion.
Revenue fell across all five of the Wilmington, Delaware-based company's segments, including its safety and protection unit, which makes the Kevlar vest.
Across the globe, revenue also fell, although demand in the Asia/Pacific region rose from earlier this year, the company said.
For the full year, DuPont now expects earnings of $1.95 to $2.05 per share, compared with a previous estimate of $1.70 to $2.10.
DuPont peer Dow Chemical
Shares of DuPont slipped 1.3 percent to $34.17 in early New York Stock Exchange trading.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Maureen Bavdek)