Agrium earnings plummet on lower fertilizer prices

9:49 AM MDT | February 10, 2017 | Vincent Valk

Agrium today reported net earnings down 66.6% year-on-year (YOY), to $67 million, on sales down 5%, to $2.28 billion. Adjusted earnings totaled $94 million, or 68 cts/share, slightly ahead of analysts’ consensus estimate of 67 cts/share, as reported by Thomson Reuters (New York). Strong sales in crop protection drove the increases, with international results also up, mainly due to higher profits in Australia.

Retail segment sales grew 3.6% YOY, to $1.82 billion, while segment EBITDA was up 1.5%, to $202 million. Strong demand for crop protection products and services in the US and Australia drove the increases, which were offset by lower sales for crop nutrients.

Wholesale segment sales declined 26% YOY, to $657 million, while segment EBITDA was down 38.6%, to $216 million. Lower fertilizer prices drove the declines, which were partly offset by lower fixed costs.

Agrium expects full-year 2017 adjusted earnings to total $4.50-$6.00/share, compared with $4.29/share adjusted earnings in 2016.