July 18, 2012 / 12:23 PM / 6 years ago

Agrium raises profit forecast; shares climb

(Reuters) - Fertilizer maker and farm products retailer Agrium Inc AGU.TO AGU.N raised its second-quarter earnings forecast on Wednesday, citing excellent results across its entire crop input business.

The revised forecast sent shares of the Calgary, Alberta-based company up 3.8 percent to $96.10 before the morning bell in the United States.

Agrium now expects second-quarter earnings of $5.40 to $5.50 per share, up from a previous forecast of $4.18 to $4.78.

The news came a day after its U.S. rival, Mosaic Co (MOS.N), reported better-than-expected quarterly results. Despite drought conditions in many key corn-growing areas of the United States, Mosaic expects fertilizer sales to remain strong.

Agrium Chief Executive Mike Wilson in a statement, “The outlook remains very positive, supported by the significant increase in grain and oilseed prices globally due to adverse weather in the U.S. and an expected tightening in international crop input markets.”

Agrium, the largest North American farm products retailer, is set to report second-quarter results on August 2.

Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Ankur Banerjee in Bangalore; editing by John Wallace

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