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Chemical company E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD - Analyst Report) has been recognized among the world's top 50 most admired companies by the Fortune magazine. DuPont was ranked No. 41 in Fortune's Top 50 "World's Most Admired Companies" list.

DuPont has been featured in the list for the last 4 years and it is for the second consecutive year that it has been recognized on the list in its sector. It was selected by The Hay Group, which took the database from Fortune and selected 15 largest for each international industry and 10 largest for each U.S. industry.

DuPont is a global chemical and life sciences company and is witnessing significant momentum in its agriculture business, boosted by higher volume and market share gains in seed genetics and crop protection. It expects continued strong growth in crop protection in 2013, driven by new products.

The company's long-term plan includes compound annual growth targets of 7% for sales and 12% for earnings per share. Sales in developing markets, which include China, India, and the countries located in Latin America, Eastern and Central Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia, are targeted to make up 40% of the company's sales by 2015.

DuPont is focused on an aggressive cost-cutting strategy by reducing fixed costs, retrenching employees, restructuring work schedules and improving working capital productivity. The company expects cost productivity of at least $300 million in 2013 in addition to the targeted $300 million savings from restructuring actions

On Jan 22, DuPont 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.

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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