DuPont to Cut 1,500 Jobs

Chemicals company DuPont (DD) on Wednesday raised its first-quarter earnings forecast on broad operating strength, but said it would cut about 2.5 percent of its work force, mostly in Europe.

The 1,500 job cuts in its performance coatings business are part of a plan the company announced last October to reduce costs and improve competitiveness across segments. Weakness in Europe is partly offsetting the business strength leading to the higher first-quarter outlook, DuPont said.

DuPont shares rose 3.4 percent to $43.35 in premarket trading on the Inet electronic brokerage after the company raised its forecasts.

The company said it expected first-quarter earnings per share of 80 cents before items, up from a previous forecast of 70 cents. Analysts polled by Reuters Estimates expected 71 cents.

The company forecast one-time restructuring charges, pretax, of up to $165 million, with additional costs of up to $55 million over the next 12 months. The new job cuts are in addition to 200 announced in February for the United States.

DuPont said it would close two facilities in Spain, one in the Netherlands and one in Germany.

The company said it would disclose how much of the charge it would take in the first quarter when it reports results in late April.

The cuts will reduce annual costs by up to $165 million, the company said.