Though the company's bottom line was plagued by falling profitability, concerns were offset by the board's approval of an additional $1 billion allocated to its share buyback program. The authorization is in addition to funds approved in December to repurchase 43.3 million Class A shares over the first seven months of 2014.
By midafternoon, shares had added 2.6% to $48.02.
The Minnesota-based business reported a 79% drop in earnings year-over-year due to falling prices for crop nutrients potash and phosphates. Net income of 30 cents a share fell short of consensus by 14 cents, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.However, management sees a turning point as prices recover. "While our results for the fourth quarter reflect the low market prices for potash and phosphates, current market conditions are improving," said CEO Jim Prokopanko in a statement. "Market dynamics are unfolding as we expected they would, with sales volumes increasing before prices; in fact, we shipped a record volume of phosphates during the quarter, and potash volumes increased significantly." Revenue of $2.2 billion, though 1.8% lower year-over-year, exceeded expectations by $330 million.
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