(DD) EI DuPont de Nemours Wins Kevlar Case

US chemical giant EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD) has won a civil lawsuit for $919.9 million in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, Va., against Kolon Industries, with the jury finding that Kolon stole trade secrets and confidential information regarding DuPont’s Kevlar aramid fiber.

Kolon, a South Korea-based company, was found liable on grounds of misappropriation of trade secrets, and the jury found that its actions were willful and malicious.

DuPont sued Kolon in 2009 accusing it of stealing confidential data on its brand Kevlar.

Kolon also plans to pursue a separate antitrust case against DuPont, scheduled for trial in March next year.

DuPont stated it was one of the largest-ever intellectual-property damage awards. The company is also seeking punitive damages, legal fees and an injunction to prevent Kolon from selling its competing fiber.

In July 2011, DuPont released its second quarter 2011 results. DuPont reported an increase in profit of $1.22 billion or $1.37 per share in the second quarter of 2011 versus $1.16 billion or $1.17 per share in the same quarter of 2010. The profit exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4 cents per share. The improvement in profit was attributable to higher selling prices, increased sales volume and currency benefit, partly offset by higher raw material, energy and freight costs.

Sales in the quarter grew 19% to $10.3 billion, up from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.95 billion. The increase in sales reflected a rise of 2% in sales volume, an increase of 11% in local price, a 3% currency benefit and a 3% net increase from portfolio changes. Sales in the developing markets rose 29%.

DuPont had cash and cash equivalents of $2.3 billion as of June 30, 2011 compared with $4.3 billion as of December 31, 2010. Long-term borrowings and capital lease obligations amounted to $12.5 billion as of June 30, 2011 versus $10.1 billion as of December 31, 2010.

As of June 30, 2011, DuPont had a net cash flow of $644 million from operating activities versus $424 million as of June 30, 2010. Meanwhile, capital expenditures increased to $741 million from $500 million in the year-ago period.

DuPont upgraded its full-year 2011 earnings outlook to $3.90–$4.05 per share from its previous forecast of $3.65–$3.85. This revision was attributable to the company’s strong earnings results, the expectation for continued global economic growth and about 5 cents per share full-year operating earnings from Danisco.

The company’s estimate for the impact of the Danisco acquisition on full-year reported earnings is at present a reduction of 18 cents to 29 cents per share, versus the previous estimate of 30 cents to 45 cents per share. The current view is based on anticipated full-year Danisco operating earnings of about 5 cents per share and significant item charges related to the acquisition estimated to be 23 cents to 34 cents per share.

In addition to these Danisco charges, the company expects a 3 cents per share significant item charge in the third quarter associated with a licensing agreement.

DuPont is a global chemical and life sciences company, employing more than 60,000 people worldwide with a diverse array of product offerings. With over 21,000 patents and 15,000 patent applications worldwide, DuPont sells its products in diverse markets, such as transportation, construction, apparel, agriculture, nutrition and health, packaging and electronics markets.

DuPont faces stiff competition from BASF SE (BASFY) and The Dow Chemical Company (DOW).

The company currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank on its stock, which translates into a short-term Hold. In addition, we reiterate our Outperform recommendation on the stock for the long term.

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