DuPont sees quarterly profit above expectations on coronavirus-led demand

(Reuters) – Industrial materials maker DuPont on Monday estimated first-quarter profit above Wall Street’s expectations, as the coronavirus outbreak lifted demand for its products used in personal protection and water filtration.

The company, however, suspended its forecast for full-year sales and adjusted earnings, citing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in some of its end markets.

DuPont, which makes everything from brake fluid to fabric used in protective garments, is expected to have mixed impact from the virus outbreak.

Demand for some of the company’s products, such as Tyvek personal protective garments, has risen, while other key end markets, like the automotive sector, have suffered due to a decline in travel brought by the pandemic.

DuPont said it had idled operations at several manufacturing sites, mainly production plants that fall under its transportation and industrial business, and delayed some capital investment to bolster its cash reserves.

It had also entered a $1.0 billion revolving credit facility, replacing the $750 million facility set to expire in June, and secured $2.0 billion in committed financing to ensure that it can refinance debt maturities in November.

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