NEW YORK--DuPont recently reported a 75% decrease in fourth quarter earnings as a result of depressed chemicals and plastic prices.

The company predicted a decline in earnings for the current quarter, but said full-year results will increase.

Dupont fourth-quarter earnings before one-time items fell to $124 million, or 12 cents a share, from $494 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. The results were roughly in line with Wall Street estimates.

Including $3.8 billion in after-tax gains from the sale of DuPont Pharmaceuticals to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., earnings were $3.92 billion in the latest quarter.

Consolidated sales fell 17.2% to $5.23 billion, with sales slipping in all segments except agriculture.

DuPont said it expects 2002 earnings per share before unusual items to be up from 2001.

The company said first-quarter earnings will be down from a year earlier.