(Reuters) - Canadian fertilizer company Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) (AGU.N) reported lower quarterly profit on Wednesday due to downtime at its potash mine and dragged-out contract talks with China and India, the company said.
Net earnings for the third quarter ended September 30 fell to $129 million, or 80 cents diluted earnings per share, from $293 million, or $1.85 per share a year ago.
Excluding items, net earnings would have been $215 million or $1.34 diluted earnings per share.
Analysts were expecting, on average, earnings per share of $1.82, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company, which produces nitrogen, potash and phosphate fertilizers, forecast fourth-quarter earnings per share in a range from $1.50 to $1.90, lower than expectations of $2.10.
Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba