August 3, 2011 / 10:48 AM / 7 years ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Agrium Q2 profit jumps on nutrient prices

(Corrects estimate in first bullet point and paragraph 7)

* Q2 EPS $4.60 vs est $4.26

* Q2 rev jumps 40 pct

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Fertilizer maker and farm products retailer Agrium Inc’s quarterly profit topped estimates, helped by higher nutrient prices and strong retail sales.

Prices of corn, a crop that requires much fertilizer, have skyrocketed on tight supplies and concerns about poor U.S. planting weather.

Eastern U.S. corn belt and Western Canada farmers were not able to plant all the acreage, while global crop and crop nutrient markets remained tight, which is expected to bode well for crop input demand this fall, Agrium said.

Second-quarter profit rose to $718 million, or $4.54 a share, from $518 million, or $3.28 a share, last year.

Net profit from continuing operations was $728 million or $4.60 a share.

Sales rose 40 percent to $6.2 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn $4.26 a share, on revenue of $5.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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