Let’s look at other positives and negatives for DuPont that relate to the current business situation. Two big positives include high margins (especially in Agriculture segment) and a focus on reducing debt and using available cash to reward shareholders. DuPont also sold its performance coating business for $4.9 billion. Furthermore, DuPont is cutting 1,500 employees over the next 12 months. This might be a positive for investors, but it’s a negative for those employees, and it’s not a good sign in regards to growth potential. Companies don’t cut 1,500 employees when they’re confident in their growth potential. As far as negatives go, the biggest negative aside from the Monsanto situation is weakness in performance chemicals.
I expected this company to perform much better than it has and have been willing to collect dividends while waiting; however, the management does not seem to be up to the task. They have bought into some good businesses, but the earnings should be a lot better. I would like to have a chemical in the portfolio, but this does not fit the bill and I have been exiting. Not that thrilled with other chemicals and have switched to PSX, a refiner and midstream operator with its 50% equity interest in CP Chem. Chevron is the other partner. PSX is the spin off from Conoco Phillips and I got some shares from the spin and bought more right afterward when the price was way down.. Also own some Air Gas,(ARG) which is sort of like a chemical company. The industrial gas space has a lot of room to grow. Also a lot of small players in the distribution of gasses and ARG is great at making good purchases. Praxair is alsoi another in that area.
"I would like to have a chemical in the portfolio, but this does not fit the bill and I have been exiting."
DuPont is a chemical company that's trying to convince everyone it's NOT really a chemical company. Part of the problem (and there are a lot of problems with DuPont leaders past and present) is that they chase after the latest fads and neglect what used to be a strength. TiO2 business is in a downward spiral now, thanks to neglect, price-gouging, and having Chinese steal secrets from disgruntled current and former DuPonters.
The only hope for this stock price is a hostile takeover from Chinese investors.