By Dan Burrows

NEW YORK — Higher raw material costs and special charges related to the expected sale of its textiles and interiors business pushed DuPont to a third-quarter loss.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the Wilmington, Del.-based chemicals giant recorded a net loss of $873 million or 88 cents a diluted share compared with profits of $469 million, or 47 cents, in the year-ago period. Excluding special items, including an aftertax, noncash charge of $1.04 for the impending divestiture of Invista, formerly known as DuPont Textiles & Interiors, the company would have reported earnings of 13 cents, which exceeded the Wall Street forecast by 2 cents.

As reported, DuPont is in talks to sell the $6.3 billion Invista business to Wichita, Kan.-based chemical company Koch Industries Inc. Koch also owns the polyester supplier KoSa, which has manufacturing operations in Mexico.

Net sales for the period climbed 12 percent to $6.14 billion from $5.48 billion. Although worldwide volume increased 4 percent, higher raw material costs eroded earnings after taxes by $200 million, or 20 cents, and noncash pension and stock-option expenses negated another 10 cents a share, DuPont said.

DuPont’s shares fell 4.3 percent, or $1.75, to settle at $39.20 in Wednesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Higher raw material costs and an unfavorable product mix were the story for the quarter for textiles and interiors,” Ann Gualtieri, vice president for investor relations, said on a conference call with analysts.

While sales at Invista grew 11.3 percent to $1.74 billion from $1.57 billion a year ago, the division reported an operating loss of $1.05 billion versus last year’s income of $60 million. After excluding special items, Invista would have posted a narrower operating loss of $17 million.

At the Invista segment, sales rose 11.8 percent to $5.24 billion, but charges pushed the business to an operating loss of $1.04 billion versus earnings of $30 million last year. Excluding special items, the textiles and interiors unit would have posted a narrower operating loss of $6 million.

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