Seth Perlman, Associated Press
The Dupont logo is displayed on sheets of Tyvek insulation covering the outside wall of a home being built Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. The DuPont Co.'s fourth-quarter earnings dipped slightly on higher costs but topped Wall Street expectations.

DOVER, Delaware — The DuPont Co.'s fourth-quarter earnings dipped slightly on higher costs but topped Wall Street expectations.

The company reported net income for the quarter of $373 million, or 40 cents per share, on Tuesday. That's lower than $376 million, or 40 cents per share, in the previous year's fourth quarter.

Higher costs for materials and a higher tax rate contributed to the decline.

The earnings topped analyst expectations for 33 cents per share.

Full-year earnings totaled a record $3.5 billion, or $3.68 per share, up from $3.05 billion, or $3.28 per share, the year before.

DuPont said acquisitions in health and nutrition and industrial biosciences helped boost last year's bottom line.

In December, DuPont cut its 2011 earnings forecast due to weaker demand in several sectors, including electronics and industrial supplies.