October 19, 2009 / 1:25 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Terra Industries to report big Q3 profit drop

* Sees Q3 op earnings 74 pct lower than in 2008 qtr

* Cites weaker agricultural, industrial demand

* Terra stock down in premarket trading

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Fertilizer maker Terra Industries Inc TRA.N said on Monday it expects to report that third-quarter operating earnings declined 74 percent, mostly due to lower nitrogen selling prices and weaker agricultural and industrial demand.

Terra’s stock fell about 2 percent to $35.60 in trading before the New York Stock Exchange opened.

The company said according to preliminary results, it expects third-quarter revenue to be about $347.0 million, or 56 percent lower than in the same quarter last year.

Operating income is expected to be about $54.2 million, compared with $209.5 million in the year-ago quarter, the Sioux City, Iowa-based company said. It did not give a per-share earnings figure.

Terra will report actual results on Thursday.

Analysts currently expect third-quarter earnings of 56 cents per share and revenue of $359.25 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The preliminary results were released as its subsidiary Terra Capital announced a $600 million private offering of senior notes due 2019.

Terra said it will use a portion of the net proceeds, together with available cash, to purchase existing 7 percent senior notes due 2017.

In another development on Monday, Canadian rival Agrium Inc AGU.TO agreed to sell part of a nitrogen facility to Terra for $250 million in cash as part of its hostile bid to acquire CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF.N). (Reporting by Steve James, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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