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DuPont Opens Innovation Center

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E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company announced that it has inaugurated its 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.

The centre focuses on extending its research into new products pertaining to the food, agriculture and energy value chains. The center has a 3,500 square foot space and is bestowed with the latest company technology, applications and products that are created to meet the world's biggest challenges, including food security, energy and protection. The Innovation Centers are launched largely with the objective of utilizing global science capabilities so that they can cater to the local needs.

At the Johnston Innovation Center, there is a facility which creates a unique environment for alliance among more than 10,000 DuPont scientists and engineers with customers, government officials, academics and business partners around the world.

In addition, DuPont also announced two additional projects at Iowa to meet the growing demand of the world. DuPont Pioneer, the agriculture business arm of DuPont, will break ground on a new research facility, Beaver Creek II, in Johnston by the end of 2013. The project is expected to add 100 new jobs to the Des Moines metro area.

The second project that DuPont plans to invest in is located in Nevada, Iowa commercial cellulosic ethanol production facility. With an investment of over $200 million in the project, the company is expected to provide employment to over 1,000 workers for the construction of the facility. Moreover, DuPont expects to add about 60 full time jobs at the facility and involve hundreds of farmers who will supply the stover to the facility upon completion.

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. The adjusted earnings exclude one-time items including charges of $35 million associated with customer claims related to the use of an herbicide and a tax-related gain.

Including one-time items, DuPont reported earnings from continuing operation of $1.47 per share in the quarter compared with $1.48 earned in the prior-year quarter. Consolidated net income, as reported, more than doubled year over year to $3.35 billion or $3.58 per share from $1.49 billion or $1.58 per share a year ago.

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

DuPont, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other companies in the chemical space that are worth considering include Arkema S.A. (ARKAY - Free Report) , Cytec Industries Inc. and FMC Corp. (FMC - Free Report) . All the companies retain a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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