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E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD - Analyst Report) provided an update on the advancements of its agriculture research pipeline as well an insight on its growth drivers for 2013 at the Goldman Sachs 17th Annual Agribusiness Conference.

DuPont stated that it is addressing the growing needs of people related to protein-rich diets and nutritious foods. The company is providing options and local solutions, which meet the global food requirements.

DuPont also highlighted the 2013 agriculture research pipeline that facilitates the development of products including germplasm, native and biotech traits. The pipeline includes 12 product advancements including 4 program additions as a result of sustained R&D efforts.

DuPont has come up with a number of commercial products like Optimum AQUAmax hybrids, Optimum AcreMax insect protection, Optimum AcreMax Xtra and Optimum Intrasect, which have been promising and have positioned the company for continuous growth.

DuPont is witnessing strength in its agriculture and food businesses. On Jan 22, the company posted adjusted earnings from continuing operations (excluding the performance coatings business) of 11 cents per share for fourth-quarter 2012, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents. Net sales were essentially flat year over year at $7,325 million but exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7,253 million.

Despite unfavorable currency exchange swings, the Agriculture segment delivered healthy sales in the fourth quarter boosted by higher volume and strong performance of the crop protection business. The company expects continued strong growth in crop protection in 2013 driven by new products.

DuPont currently holds a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical industry with favorable Zacks Rank are Arkema S.A. (ARKAY), BASF SE (BASFY) and Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY). All three retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
 

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