Dow component DuPont (NYSE:DD) is widely recognized as being the primary sponsor for famed NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon over the last 20 years. Very “American,” indeed. But the company is our Delaware stock pick for the Real America Index for so much more than that.
The company has given homeowners Corian countertops, Teflon-coated cookware and Stainmaster carpets. Law enforcement personnel can thank them for Kevlar vests, and women for Nylon hosiery. And that’s just for starters.
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. — or DuPont, as it is more commonly called — was founded in July 1802 as a Delaware gunpowder mill. During the past 200-plus years, it has grown to become one of the largest and most omnipresent chemical companies in the world. Today, there are a host of imitators for the materials they’ve created, but it was DuPont that made them household names.
DuPont products touch nearly every sector of America’s economy, from construction to agriculture and consumer goods. Its high-tech businesses include chemicals and materials critical in food and nutrition, health care, apparel, safety and security, construction, electronics and transportation.
The centuries-old chemical company with a high-tech bent operates research and development centers employing 8,500 scientists and engineers. DuPont is one of the prime reasons Delaware ranks near the top of the nation in civilian scientists and engineers as a percentage of the work force. DuPont has capitalized on a long history of R&D leadership; the company holds some 35,000 patents.
Among DuPont’s innovations are the development of neoprene, the first synthetic rubber, and nylon — two substances that literally changed materials and manufacturing worldwide. DuPont also played a major role in the Manhattan Project in 1943, which developed the first atomic bomb. DD also has the dubious distinction of inventing the ozone-depleting chemicals chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.
DuPont shares are a favorite among dividend stock investors, as it has paid out dividends since 1904.
DuPont and its founding family remains active in Wilmington-area philanthropy, and DD stock has been a strong performer in recent years. Few companies have had such a lasting impact on the American economy as DuPont, our pick from Delaware for the Real America Index.
Check out the complete list of Real America Index components, along with an interactive map of short-term and long-term returns.
As of this writing, Vicki Passmore did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.