updated 4/25/2006 11:08:01 AM ET 2006-04-25T15:08:01

Chemicals producer DuPont Co. on Tuesday said increased costs for energy and raw materials contributed to a 16 percent decline in first-quarter profit, somewhat tempered by higher selling prices.

Earnings fell to $817 million, or 88 cents per share, from $967 million, or 96 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding certain items, earnings were 93 cents per share in the recent quarter, DuPont said.

Revenue dipped to $7.66 billion from $7.83 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected per-share profit of 80 cents on $7.69 billion in sales.

The company said higher selling prices only partially offset increased energy and ingredient costs, which surged $350 million over the previous first quarter.

By segment, agriculture and nutrition revenue slid 5 percent, while revenue from its coatings and color technologies fell 1 percent excluding restructuring charges. The performance materials and electronic and communication technologies segments each posted a revenue gain of 6 percent.

DuPont raised its 2006 profit outlook for the second time this year, from $2.70 per share to $2.80, including a charge of 5 cents per share. For the second quarter, the company forecast earnings of 90 cents per share.

Analysts see full-year profit of $2.73 per share and second-quarter earnings of $1.06.

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