(Fixes paragraph 8 to show the forecast refers to fourth-quarter 2009 and not second-half 2009)
* Q3 EPS $0.16 Vs $2.31 a yr-ago
* Excluding items, Q3 EPS $0.29
* Quarterly revenue down 41 pct to $1.89 bln
* Shares up 2 percent in early trading (Adds details on results; All figures in U.S. dollars)
TORONTO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Canadian fertilizer maker and agricultural products retailer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) (AGU.N) reported a 93 percent plunge in its third-quarter profit on Wednesday, largely due to lower prices and margins on crop nutrient sales.
Agrium, which is locked in a lengthy battle to take over U.S. rival CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF.N), said it earned $26 million, or 16 cents a share in the quarter, compared with a year-earlier profit of $367 million, or $2.31 a share.
Excluding one-time items, the Calgary, Alberta-based company said quarterly earnings would have been $46 million, or 29 cents a share.
The company said earnings from its retail business this quarter were impacted by lower fungicide application rates, along with weak fertilizer demand.
Quarterly sales fell 41 percent to $1.89 billion.
Agrium had previously warned that it expected third-quarter earnings to be 90 percent to 95 percent below those of the year-ago period. [ID:nBNG237646]
However, Agrium said it anticipates significant recovery in demand across nearly all crop inputs starting in early 2010, particularly for the retail and potash businesses.
Excluding one-time items, the company said it expects fourth-quarter 2009 earnings between 14 cents and 44 cents a share.
Agrium’s shares rose 2 percent to $48.90 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. ($1= $1.06 Canadian) (Reporting by Euan Rocha, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)