DUPONT TO SLASH JOBS: As it prepares for the sale of its Invista fibers business, DuPont said Monday it plans to reduce its head count by about 6 percent this year, as part of a broader cost-cutting campaign. The Wilmington, Del.-based chemicals giant said it expects to remove 3,500 employees through layoffs and attrition by the end of this year. None of the cuts will come from Invista, which is expected to be sold to Koch Industries by the end of the month. DuPont aims to reduce annual costs by about $900 million starting next year. It said in a statement that the job cuts, which will come primarily in North America and Europe, would contribute about $325 million in savings. DuPont warned that it expects to take a charge of 17 to 19 cents a share in its second quarter, which ends in June, as a result of the changes.
DAMIANI NEWS: As part of a restructuring of its U.S. operations, Giorgio Damiani, shareholder and vice chairman of the Damiani Group, the luxury Italian jeweler, will take over as chairman and president of Damiani USA Corp., a new post. Paolo Novembri, chief executive officer, and Lynn Grimm, vice president and sales and marketing director for Damiani in the U.S., have left the company and couldn’t be reached for comment at press time. Teresa Andrés, who has been a sales manager at Damiani USA, will continue in her role, as well as manage the Latin American and Caribbean markets and oversee newly appointed area managers. In a related move, Damiani said it plans to open a store on Madison Avenue and 67th Street in New York by late June. It also signed an agreement for a second location at the King of Prussia Mall in Philadelphia, though details weren’t available.
MAY THEY RISE: Shares of May Department Stores rose 3 percent from the prior close to end the day at $34.15 after A.G. Edwards & Son equity analyst Bob Buchanan upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold.” Trading on the New York Stock Exchange was 1.5 million, below the average volume of 1.8 million. The retailer’s 52-week high is $36.48, and the low is $19.89. “Having suffered three straight down earnings years in a row, May Department Stores is, in our view, on the verge of a performance turnaround,” Buchanan said in his note.