Potash Corp profit soars on strong demand

Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:09pm EDT
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Potash Corp, the world's top fertilizer maker, said on Thursday its quarterly profit more than doubled, as strong grain prices boosted demand for its crop nutrient products.

Despite widespread economic concerns during the quarter, the push to capitalize on strong crop prices continued to support demand for fertilizer around the globe, the company said.

Potash Corp said offshore demand for its namesake nutrient remained robust in the quarter, while Potash prices also rose, reflecting tight market conditions.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company said net income was $826 million, or 94 cents a share, up from $343 million, or 38 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 47 percent to $2.32 billion, on the back of strong demand and higher prices across its potash, phosphate and nitrogen businesses, the company said.

Gross profit reached $1.1 billion, double the $550 million generated a year earlier.

The company expects 2011 earnings of between $3.40 and $3.80 a share. Analysts, on average, have forecast earnings of $3.75, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Some investors may be disappointed that the company maintained its full-year guidance despite strong prices, Dahlman Rose analyst Charles Neivert said in a note to clients.   Continued...