DuPont’s Research and Development Spending Compared to Its Peers’

DuPont is a technology and research and development driven company. It spent an average of 6% of its revenues on R&D activities during the 2011–2014 period.

Steve Ariel - Author

Dec. 17 2015, Updated 10:05 a.m. ET


Research and development capabilities

DuPont (DD) is a technology and research and development (or R&D) driven company. DuPont spent an average of 6% of its revenues on R&D activities during the 2011–2014 period.

DuPont carries out R&D programs across various fields including biology, chemistry, engineering, and materials science, with its primary focus on agriculture and nutrition, biobased industrials, and advanced materials.

Due to its high R&D activity, DuPont launched 1,551 new products in 2014. The new products and applications launched between 2011 and 2014 contributed $9 billion to its 2014 revenues. This accounted for around 32% of DD’s total sales in 2014.

DuPont has a strong team of 10,000 scientists and engineers working at more than 150 R&D centers and 13 innovation centers around the globe. The company also benefits from 3,000 active technology agreements and collaborations with the commercial sector, governments, academia, and local communities.

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Healthy patent portfolio

DuPont owned 27,000 patents worldwide in 2014. In addition, the company has also filed a patent application for 17,000 patents globally. In 2014, the company filed a patent application for 1,555 patents and received approval for 964 patents in the United States.

During 2011–2014, DuPont has cumulatively received approval for 3,850 patents in the United States. The company’s robust patent portfolio helps it to grow its sales primarily from new product launches.

DuPont, the second highest R&D spend

DuPont’s average spending of 6% of its revenues on R&D activities during 2011–2014 was the second-highest among its closest peers. Monsanto Company had highest average R&D expenditure, at 11.3% as a percentage of sales during 2011–14.

Other major chemical players Dow Chemical Company (DOW), LyondellBasell (LYB), Eastman Chemical (EMN) and Air Products & Chemicals (APD) have lower R&D spends of 2.9%, 0.4%, 2.4%, and 1.3%, respectively.

Investors may wish to invest in chemical companies through the iShares US Basic Materials ETF (IYM),which invests in US-based basic material companies, including chemical companies. DD forms 11.1% of IYM’s portfolio.


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