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DuPont Hikes Product Prices

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DuPont’s business unit, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, has raised prices of specialty ethylene copolymer resins in North America. The increase is for all grades of DuPont Surlyn, Elvaloy, Appeel, Fusabond, Bexloy, Entira, Conpol and Nucrel in North America. The price hike is in the range of $0.10/lb ($0.22/kg) to $0.15/lb ($0.33/kg) and will be effective from Dec 1, 2013, or as contracts permit.

DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers serves the global packaging, safety glass and polymer compounding industries, offering material-based solutions to help protect people, food and the environment while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. It makes an extensive mix of adhesive, barrier, peelable lidding and sealant resins.

DuPont released its third-quarter 2013 results last month. The company topped earnings expectations in the third quarter of 2013 riding on lower tax and healthy gains across the electronics and performance materials businesses, offsetting weakness in the chemicals unit. The results were also backed by growth in the agricultural business that saw a double-digit rise in sales.

The Delaware-based chemical titan logged adjusted earnings of 45 cents per share in the quarter that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by four cents. The adjusted earnings exclude one-time items including charges associated with customer claims related to the use of an herbicide and pension-related expenses.

Including one-time items, DuPont registered earnings from continuing operations of 28 cents per share in the quarter versus a loss of 5 cents a share in the prior-year quarter. Consolidated net income, as reported, surged to $285 million (or 30 cents a share) from $5 million (break even per share) a year ago.

Net sales for the reported quarter rose roughly 5% year over year to $7,735 million as higher sales volumes compensated for lower selling prices and unfavorable currency impact. However, it missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7,774 million.

DuPont currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering include Methanex Corp. (MEOH - Free Report) , Asahi Kasei Corp. (AHKSY - Free Report) and BASF SE (BASFY - Free Report) . While Methanex and Asahi Kasei hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), BASF carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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