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DuPont Says Earnings ‘Challenged’ by Cold, Ukraine

DuPont Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker by market value, said first-quarter sales and earnings will be “challenged” by the unusually cold North American winter and disruptions in Ukraine.

DuPont, which is based in Wilmington, Delaware, made the comments in a regulatory filing today before meetings with investors this week.

The company maintained its 2014 forecast for operating earnings of $4.20 to $4.45 a share, citing an improvement in global industrial production and lower agriculture input costs. The average of 20 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg is for earnings of $4.34 a share.

DuPont dropped 0.5 percent to $67 at 5:18 p.m. after the close of regular trading in New York.

The company said Feb. 20 that seed deliveries are being harmed by unrest in Ukraine, the world’s third-largest corn exporter. The delay to deliveries may be resolved by the end of the planting season without any effect on revenue, Paul Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer seed unit, said in an interview at the time.

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