E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD.PRB) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript
Apr 26, 2016 • 08:00 am ET
Welcome to the DuPont First Quarter 2016 Conference Call. My name is John and I will be your operator for today's call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Please note that this conference is being recorded.
I'm going to now turn the call over to Greg Friedman, Vice President of Investor Relations. Greg, you may begin.
Gregory R. Friedman
Thank you, John. Good morning everyone and welcome. Thank you for joining us to cover DuPont's first quarter 2016 performance. Joining me today are Ed Breen, Chair and CEO, Nick Fanandakis, Executive Vice President and CFO and Jim Collins, Executive Vice President responsible for our Agriculture segment.
The slides for today's presentation and corresponding segment commentary can be found on our website along with our news release. During the course of this conference call, we will make forward-looking statements and I direct you to slide one for our disclaimers.
All statements that address expectations or projections about the future are forward-looking statements. Although they reflect our current expectations, these statements are not guarantees of future performance, but involve a number of risks and assumptions.
We urge you to review DuPont's SEC filings for a discussion of some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. We will also refer to non-GAAP measures. We request that you review the reconciliations to GAAP statements provided with our earnings news release and today's slides, which are posted on our website.
Our agenda today, we'll start with Ed providing his perspective on this morning's then Nick will review our first quarter financial performance and 2016 guidance. Third, Jim will discuss our agriculture business. We will then take your questions.
With that introduction, it's now my pleasure to turn the call over to Ed.
Edward D. Breen
Thank you, Greg and good morning everyone. I would like to share my perspective on the first quarter, then I'll update you on our progress with our three critical initiatives as well as our plan merger equals with Dow. Overall, I was pleased with how the business performed in the first quarter. Despite continued challenges in the macroeconomic environment, we delivered operating earnings of $1.26 per share even with last year's quarter.
Excluding $0.10 per share of negative currency, operating earnings rose 8%. Sales decline 2%, excluding currency reflecting the current environment. The weakening US dollar gave us some relief. I don't want to steal any thunder from Jim, but it's worth saying a couple of things about Ag's first quarter.
Much of the quarter's strength was due to Ag. Solid execution in Ag, our largest segment enabled a strong start to the North American corn season. I'm also very pleased with our results in this Safrinha season as we delivered strong volume growth. Nick and Jim will comment more on all that in a moment.
Looking beyond Ag, as I mentioned most of our other segments performed well. One we're calling out is Nutrition & Health, where we had broad based