DuPont Co., the most valuable U.S. chemical maker, said it will eliminate about 1,500 jobs after posting a smaller third-quarter profit than analysts estimated on falling demand for paint pigment. The shares dropped.

Net income fell to $10 million, or 1 cent a share, from $452 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont said today in a statement. Profit excluding earnings from the auto-paint unit and one-time items was 32 cents a share, trailing the 47-cent average of 14 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman plans to save $450 million with job cuts and other actions as a weak global economy challenges her 12 percent earnings-growth target. About half the reductions are tied to the auto-paint business, which DuPont previously agreed to sell to Carlyle Group LP for $4.9 billion. The performance-chemicals unit led declines in the quarter amid lower demand for titanium dioxide, a white pigment used in paint known by its chemical formula TiO2.

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