OCTOBER 31, 2017 / 5:20 AM
Mosaic’s earnings beat on higher potash, phosphate prices
(Reuters) – U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co (MOS.N) on Tuesday posted better-than-expected profit on higher prices and forecast strong sales of potash and phosphates for the current quarter.
Shares of Mosaic, the world’s largest producer of finished phosphate products, rose 2 percent to $21.25 in premarket trade.
Mosaic’s fourth-quarter sales for phosphates is expected to be 2.3 million to 2.6 million tonnes, compared to 2.5 million tonnes last year.
Potash sales will be 1.9 million to 2.2 million tonnes for the fourth quarter, compared to 2 million tonnes last year.
Operating earnings in the third quarter rose $70 million, despite a $26 million hit in its phosphates business from Hurricane Irma.
Mosaic sold diammonium phosphate at an average price of $329 per tonne, up from $326 a year earlier. Its average potash selling price was $182, up nearly 14 percent from last year.
Net earnings rose to $227 million, or 65 cents per share, in the third-quarter ended Sept. 30, from $39.2 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 43 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates of 18 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose to $2 billion from $1.95 billion.
Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr