Seeds Of Change For DuPont –

The science-based products and services company is set for a record year, thanks to increased seeds business.

E.I. du Pont de Nemours, or DuPont ( DD), is one of the company’s most profitable while being the least cyclical and requiring the lowest amount of capital, according to Soleil analyst Mark Gulley. With earnings growth of 15% annually and its percentage of total earnings projected to be in the 40% to 45% range in 2011, Gulley wouldn’t be surprised if the company elected to divest underperforming businesses to further concentrate on seeds where it competes with Monsanto ( MON) and Syngenta ( SYT).

DuPont takes a different approach to the business than Monsanto, which Gulley sees as the company’s toughest competition. Pioneer’s "right seed for the right acre" approach encourages farmers to cater purchases to specific crop needs while Monsanto appeals to "profit-maximizing" farmers who are willing to pay more for seeds that protect against a variety of stresses.

Uncertainties regarding regulations and pricing remain risks to seed companies. Lower farm incomes in 2009 will make farmers unlikely to stomach higher seed prices. While prices on existing hybrids will likely remain unchanged, Pioneer said mix effect should lift the average selling price for corn by 5% and soy as much as 3%.

At a recent investor conference, Pioneer presented its goals to grow sales 50% and double earnings for the period from 2008 to 2013. "While we appreciate DuPont’s aggressive goals through 2013, it will be difficult to keep up with the pace set by Monsanto," Gulley said.


Seeds Of Change For DuPont –

Maui Land & Pineapple reports 2nd-quarter loss


Maui Land & Pineapple reports 2nd-quarter loss

Associated Press, 08.03.09, 10:56 PM EDT


KAHULUI, Hawaii —

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. has reported a wider second-quarter loss due to hefty charges.

The company posted a loss of more than $54 million, or $6.75 per share, compared with net income of $272,000, or 3 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2008.

The latest-quarter loss included a charge of $21.3 million for the drop in value of the company’s investment in Kapalua Bay Holdings LLC, and charges of $14.2 million to write off development plans the company says are no longer feasible due to changes in market conditions.

The company said Monday that revenue slid 24 percent to $13.3 million from $17.6 million. Declines were seen across all business segments, as less tourist travel to Maui and the state of Hawaii and lower demand for real estate continued to impact operations and pineapple operations were scaled down.

Maui Land & Pineapple reports 2nd-quarter loss –