October 22, 2009 / 11:52 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Terra Industries profit drops 72 percent

* Q3 EPS 46 cents vs. $1.64 year ago

* Street expected 52 cents

* Revenue falls 56 percent

* Shares close down 15 cts at $35.36 (Updates with CEO comments, stock; adds byline)

By Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Fertilizer maker Terra Industries Inc TRA.N said on Thursday its third-quarter profit fell 72 percent due to a drop in pricing and volume.

The company had preannounced earnings earlier this week in a warning to Wall Street. Uncertainty on how low crop prices will go, as well as the impact of new production, hurt results, the company said.

“The past quarter was one where some customers stayed on the sidelines,” Chief Executive Michael Bennett said on a conference call with investors.

Terra is the focus of a takeover offer from CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF.N), itself the subject of a hostile takeover from Agrium Inc AGU.TO.

For the quarter, the company posted net income of $45.9 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with $164.9 million, or $1.64 per share, a year earlier.

That was below analysts’ average forecast of 52 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 56 percent to $347 million. Analysts expected $355.7 million.

There is concern, Bennett said, that the late fall corn crop would keep farmers from applying fertilizer before the frost. That would put a dent in fourth-quarter earnings, though application likely would still take place in the spring, he said.

Shares fell 15 cents to close at $35.36 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Gary Hill)

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