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DuPont (DD - Analyst Report) announced that it is expanding capabilities within its Silicon Valley Technology Center to usher in new innovations and collaborations in the energy and electronics industry. The company will use the center to further speed up product and process development.

DuPont, in 2011, acquired a company named Innovalight at the same site and continued to invest to boost the site’s capabilities. It is the only material supplier in the world that has capabilities for fully integrated development from solar materials to cell and panel assembly, manufacturing and testing.

DuPont will focus on developing technological innovations for the industries it caters to including solar energy and consumer electronics. The extended capabilities will include commercial-grade tools and process capabilities to produce solar cells and solar panels. DuPont also plans to install a rooftop testing station for solar panels by late 2013.

DuPont has also added a new technology lab for the formulation of new DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes. The lab will also focus on advanced electronic materials and support overall business growth for systems that will match the requirements of the current electronic designs.

DuPont is the leading supplier of specialty materials with the largest portfolio of products that are made to enhance the power output and reliable lifetime of solar panels. These products also enable the company to lower overall system costs and improve system investment returns for solar.

Last month, DuPont also inaugurated a new Innovation Center in Johnston, Iowa. The Innovation Center is the second in the U.S. and twelfth in the world. The facility will cater to the needs of the growing population and will reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

DuPont beat expectations in the first quarter of 2013, driven by strong corn seeds and crop protection products sales. The company posted adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.56 per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.54.

Net sales rose 2% year over year to $10,408 million, as higher sales volumes and pricing were offset by a negative currency impact. Sales beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $10,378 million.

DuPont carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Other companies in the chemical space that are worth considering include Arkema S.A. (ARKAY), Cytec Industries Inc. (CYT - Snapshot Report) and PPG industries Inc. (PPG - Analyst Report). All of them retain a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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