The stock finished down a penny at $59.17 on volume of nearly 10 million, ahead of its trailing three-month daily average of 8 million. Year-to-date, the shares are still up almost 15%, although they've fallen 7.5% since hitting a 52-week high of $63.97 on Feb. 14.
The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company reported income of $840 million, or 96 cents a share, on revenue of 2.33 billion. Year-over-year, profit jumped 75% and sales soared 61.8% thanks in part to high prices for the three nutrients (potash, phosphate and nitrogen) used in its products and continued strong demand.
The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for earnings of 86 cents a share on revenue of $1.99 billion."The continuation of strong fertilizer demand combined with the limitations of global production, especially in potash, resulted in tight fertilizer markets and rising prices for our products," said Bill Doyle, Potash's chief executive, in a statement. "We believe our ongoing investment in expanding potash operational capability is playing an integral role in the world's food story." Potash stayed pat on much of its outlook, but also declared promise from Asian markets outside of China and India as growers benefitted from solid returns from oil palm, sugar, rice and rubber. The company raised its full-year earnings guidance to between $3.40 and $3.80 a share, up from a three-months ago forecast of $3 to $3.40 a share. "As global food producers tackle the challenge of feeding a growing population, PotashCorp is prepared to play an important role in meeting the rising demand for fertilizer," said Doyle. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
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