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DuPont signals strong 2021 on demand from smartphone makers, auto rebound

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Feb 9 (Reuters) - Industrial materials maker DuPonton Tuesday forecast full-year profit and revenue above WallStreet expectations on the back of robust demand from smartphonemakers launching 5G handsets and a recovery in global autosales.

The company, once part of the erstwhile chemical giantDowDupont, forecast 2021 adjusted earnings of $3.30 to $3.45 pershare, above the $3.07 analysts had estimated, according toRefinitiv IBES.

Net sales estimates of between $15.40 billion and $15.60billion also came in above analysts' expectations of $15.11billion.

Sales in DuPont's electronics and imaging business rose 9%to $1.02 billion in the fourth quarter from a year earlier andwas also marginally higher than the third, fueled by stronguptake for advanced materials used in smartphone and chips.

DuPont, which makes everything from brake fluid to fabricused in protective garments, also pointed to higher demand forits personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemicand from carmakers as several economies relaxed their lockdowns.

The company this month completed the sale of its nutritionand biosciences business to International Flavors & FragrancesInc, while also cutting costs, including jobs, to rideout the health crisis that hammered some of its customers.

DuPont said adjusted net income rose to $698 million, or 95cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $645million, or 88 cents per share, in the third quarter, in linewith preliminary results announced last month.

For the first quarter, the company expects net sales between$3.75 billion and $3.85 billion. It projected a profit of 75cents to 77 cents per share.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit 65 cents pershare and revenue of $3.69 billion.(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by SrirajKalluvila)