News Summary: DuPont 4Q earnings sink, beats view

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Photo -   This Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 photo, shows construction workers framing a new home in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Chemical and bioscience company DuPont Co. says weakness in its performance chemicals and electronics and communications businesses, coupled with costs associated with growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in fourth-quarter income. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
This Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 photo, shows construction workers framing a new home in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Chemical and bioscience company DuPont Co. says weakness in its performance chemicals and electronics and communications businesses, coupled with costs associated with growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in fourth-quarter income. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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BIG DECLINE: Soft demand for a key industrial pigment and solar energy products, coupled with increased spending on growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in the DuPont Co.'s fourth-quarter income. But the results beat Wall Street's expectations.

LOOKING AHEAD: DuPont chairwoman and CEO Ellen Kullman said the company is stronger than it was a year ago, having recorded nearly 2,300 new product introductions in 2012, an increase of 30 percent.

STOMPING WEEDS: One-time items included $135 million to resolve legal claims stemming from the use of DuPont's Imprelis weedkiller on trees such as Norway spruces and white pines. It has now spent $750 million on Imprelis claims. CFO Nick Fanandakis said DuPont wants "to bring closure to this as soon as possible."

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