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shares tumbled Tuesday on above-average volume after the clean energy solutions provider posted a fourth-quarter loss that exceeded expectations.

Rentech late Monday posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $6.4 million, or 3 cents a share, more than doubling the company's year-ago loss of $2.9 million, or a penny a share. Revenue dropped to $24.7 million from $74.6 million in the year-ago quarter, due to lower fertilizer shipments, weaker economic conditions and lower corn prices.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Rentech to post a loss of a penny a share on revenue of $45.5 million.

Rentech also announced that it has corrected its accounting treatment of forward gas purchase contracts and inventory valuation. The restatements had the effect of increasing operating earnings and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, in 2008 by approximately $6 million. It also caused a reduction in reported operating earnings and EBITDA in 2009 of approximately $6 million.

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On the positive side, Rentech reported full year net income for the first time in the company's history. Its fiscal 2009 earnings totaled $3 million, or 2 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $56.9 million, or 34 cents a share, for fiscal 2008.

Shares of Rentech were falling by 12 cents, or 7.3%, to $1.52. Earlier in the session, the stock touched an intraday low of $1.48. More than 3.2 million shares changed hands by 10:15 a.m. EST Tuesday, compared to the stock's three-month average daily volume of 3.7 million, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Rentech has a 183.2 million-share float with a short interest float of 5.5% as of Nov. 30, according to Yahoo! Finance. Insiders hold only 5.2% of the company's shares, with another 26.1% owned by institutions.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston


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