(Corrects to remove instrument code of unrelated company)
By Shubhankar Chakravorty and Rod Nickel
July 30 (Reuters) - Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc remains focused on acquiring German salt and fertilizer company K+S, the company said on Thursday, as it reduced the top end of its full-year earnings forecast.
Potash, the world’s biggest fertilizer company by market capitalization, also reported a 12 percent drop in quarterly profit, missing Wall Street’s estimate, mainly due to weak nitrogen earnings and lower phosphate sales.
The company’s stock rose 2.6 percent to $27.54 in pre-market activity in New York after hitting a 52-week low on Wednesday.
“The stock probably will see a bit of a rebound solely based on having reached a 52-week low, and people are going to look at the dividend yield, which has gotten pretty attractive,” said Peter Prattas, analyst at AltaCorp Capital.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp said it intends to talk with K+S management, despite its rejection this month of Potash Corp’s 7.9 billion euro ($8.65 billion) proposed bid of 41 euros per share as too low.
K+S has suggested Potash was planning to shrink the company.
“We remain focused on engaging with and having constructive discussions with K+S management that would include commitments to secure German locations and employment,” Potash said in a statement.
Potash Corp lowered the top end of its full-year profit forecast to $1.95 per share from $2.05. The low end of the guidance remained unchanged at $1.75.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $1.86 per share, near the midpoint of Potash’s revised guidance, based on 24 estimates for Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For the third quarter, Potash expects to earn 35 to 45 cents per share. Analysts were expecting 43 cents.
The company’s net income fell to $417 million, or 50 cents per share, in the second quarter, from $472 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.
The results were below the average analyst estimate of 51 cents per share.
Revenue fell 8.5 percent to $1.73 billion, below analysts’ average estimate of $1.89 billion.
Potash Corp said its average realized nitrogen price dropped 15 percent to $334 per tonne. Increased global supply and record Chinese urea exports during the past 12 months weakened nitrogen prices, the company said.
Potash Corp’s potash production was flat at 2.5 million tonnes, while average realized potash price rose 4 percent to $273 per tonne.
The company narrowed its potash sales forecast for the year to 9.3-9.6 million tonnes from 9.2-9.7 million. (Reporting by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Maju Samuel and Alden Bentley)