Expect this to be our last call as DuPont
It’s with strong momentum that we have what we anticipate to be our last earnings news release and investor call as DuPont. Of course, this is not an ending but a beginning as we approach the expected August closing of the merger with Dow to form DowDuPont. This past quarter, we completed nearly all the steps needed to close the merger without any significant new remedies. When the final steps are completed, we will announce our expected closing date. We remain confident that the transaction will close in August.
Nicholas C. Fanandakis – E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
Strength in electronics and communications
Yeah, let me handle that, Chris. So as you go forward looking at Electronics & Communications, as you said, you’re absolutely right, there were some rather lower comps that we were against. So part of it is that. But we have seen good, strong consumer electronics, semiconductor, as well as PV in the quarter and as we’re going forward. When I look beyond the second quarter in the rest of the year, we do expect continued moderate strength in some of these key markets, primarily the three that we talk about, consumer electronics, semiconductors and PV.
Are forecasting growth rates to be down in PV
“We are though forecasting growth rates to be down in the PV side due to some of the reduced government subsidies around the grid capacity constraints in China.”
James C. Collins – E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
Thanks, Laurence. Yes, our CRISPR strategy, I would say, is something that is still emerging. We’ve clearly identified a few early targets. We talked about our waxy corn program. I think I had mentioned it a little bit at several of the Ag conferences. So it will be our first commercial product. We’d expect that by the end of the decade. We’re beginning to work on a few other diseases that we think CRISPR could help us control.
One of those is northern leaf blight. You know how important or how big an impact that disease can be. I think I saw a number last year, could have been as high as $1.6 billion in North America alone. So what that’ll allow us to do is leverage our existing germplasm, but look for background germplasm where that trait or that natural disease resistance already exists and then use the CRISPR tool, just like we would any other advanced breeding technology, to breed our background germplasm in with that protection.”
Brazil watching closely how things develop
“I would say that, as we think about the second half of this year, especially in Brazil, we’re cautious on that market, just as growers are. They’re clearly watching to see how this North American crop develops. We’re in a real critical stage right now, where temperature can have a big impact at pollination on yields. So I think we’re all waiting to see how that turns out. That will naturally affect commodity prices for corn and soybeans. And those are two big drivers as to how the next season will unfold as well. So, as I said, it’s a little early to call it, and we’re watching things pretty closely.”