Walnut audit delays results

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Diamond Foods Inc. said Dec. 12 that it will delay filing its fiscal first-quarter results due to an ongoing investigation by its audit committee into the accounting for its walnut payments.

The company, which makes products such as Emerald Nuts and Pop Secret popcorn, disclosed last month that several securities class-action lawsuits have been filed in connection with the payment controversy. More lawsuits are expected.

The dispute has already led to a delay in its attempted $1.5 billion acquisition of Pringles, the chip company, from Procter & Gamble Co.

Diamond Foods said that its audit committee expects to be able to finish its investigation by the middle of February. The San Francisco company said it file its quarterly results "as soon as practicable" after the audit committee's investigation ends.

DuPont predicts profits, sales up

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chemicals maker DuPont on Dec. 13 forecast that profit will rise 7 to 12 percent in 2012, compared with what it expects to earn this year, as international sales increase.

DuPont cut its 2011 earnings forecast due to weaker demand in several sectors, including electronics and industrial supplies. DuPont predicted an adjusted 2011 profit of $3.87 to $3.95 per share in 2011, down 10 cents from its October guidance and below what analysts had expected.

But DuPont, whose products are used in electronics, cars, paint, plastics, agriculture and other industries, expects that international expansion, new products and a recent acquisition will boost future growth.

The Wilmington, Del., company on Dec. 13 predicted 2012 profit of $4.20 to $4.40 per share on revenue of $40 billion to $42 billion.

That's in line with Wall Street expectations. Analysts estimate 2012 profit of $4.30 per share on sales of $41.5 billion, according to FactSet.

The company said it expects increased sales and higher profit margins next year in many of its businesses. DuPont bought Danish food additives maker Danisco for more than $6 billion in May to broaden the company's food business.

Senators grill Corzine over missing money

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Questioned by senators he once served with, Jon Corzine told a panel Dec. 13 that he never told anyone to "misuse" customer money that vanished when MF Global collapsed this fall.

An estimated $1.2 billion in client funds are missing. Senators are demanding that Corzine and two other executives at the securities firm explain who authorized the transfer of money in the days before the firm collapsed in the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Corzine, a former Democratic New Jersey senator and governor, resigned as CEO of the securities firm last month.

Many lawmakers have heard from farmers, ranchers and small business owners in their states who are missing money that was deposited with the firm. Agricultural businesses use brokerage firms like MF Global to help reduce their risks in an industry vulnerable to swings in oil, corn and other commodity prices.

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