Mosaic Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Mosaic (MOS)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

March 29, 2012 9:00 am ET


Laura Gagnon -

James T. Prokopanko - Chief Executive officer, President, Director and Member of Executive Committee

Lawrence W. Stranghoener - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Richard N. McLellan - Senior Vice President of Commercial

Richard L. Mack - Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

James C. O'Rourke - Executive Vice President of Operations


Jacob Bout - CIBC World Markets Inc., Research Division

Daniel Jester - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Mark W. Connelly - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division

Olga Guteneva - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Elaine Yip - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Edlain Rodriguez - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Donald Carson - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division

Ben Isaacson - Scotiabank Global Banking and Market, Research Division

James Sheehan - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Joel Jackson - BMO Capital Markets Canada

Ted Drangula

Michael Picken - Cleveland Research Company

Andrew W. Cash - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Lindsay Mann - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Mark R. Gulley - Gulley & Associates LLC

Christopher Perrella

Charles N. Neivert - Dahlman Rose & Company, LLC, Research Division



Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Mosaic Company's Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Your host for today's call is Laura Gagnon, Vice President, Investor Relations of The Mosaic Company. Ms. Gagnon, you may begin.

Laura Gagnon

Thank you, and welcome to our third quarter fiscal year 2012 earnings call. Presenting today will be Jim Prokopanko, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Larry Stranghoener, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. We also have members of the senior leadership team available to answer your questions after our prepared remarks. Joc O'Rourke, Executive Vice President, Operations; Rich Mack, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary; and Rick McLellan, Senior Vice President, Commercial. After my introductory comments, Jim will share our views on Mosaic's results, as well as current and future market conditions, and Larry will discuss key drivers of the segment results, as well as provide insight into future raw material costs. The presentation slides we are using during the call are available on our website at

We will be making forward-looking statements during this conference call. The statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial and operating results. They are based on management’s beliefs and expectations as of today’s date, March 29, 2012, and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.

Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are included in our press release issued yesterday and in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Now, I'd like to turn it over to Jim.

James T. Prokopanko

Thanks, Laura, and welcome, everyone. While we faced market headwinds during the third quarter, our accomplishments in this period reflect Mosaic's ongoing business strength and our great capacity for execution. We reached a settlement agreement with respect to our South Fort Meade permit litigation, which was approved by the courts yesterday, March 28. We expect to be at full production at South Fort Meade in the first fiscal quarter of 2013. Our investments to expand capacity at both Potash and MicroEssentials remain on track and on budget. Our operational excellence programs continue to bear fruit, with newly identified initiatives in Potash having already exceeded $60 million in potential benefits. And in Phosphates, we have had record year-to-date production at our Four Corners mine, and our Wingate mine performed at record levels in January. As well, we continue to take steps to realize the value of our exceptionally strong balance sheet by increasing our regular annual dividend by 150% to $0.50 per share.

In Phosphates, we saw an acceleration of sales in both our future price deferred programs and other sales programs after phosphate pricing in North America bottomed in January. In Potash, we are just beginning to see the pickup in sales. Lower potash sales were reflected in both our reduced third quarter guidance and our final results. That said, we have product positioned in the marketplace ready for growers to apply in anticipation of what we expect to be a strong North America spring season. I'll provide more thoughts on this topic shortly.

We've seen resolution of some major uncertainties that have been impacting market sentiment. The changes to the Indian crop nutrient subsidy are now known, although there remains some uncertainty as to the ultimate demand impact. Even with the announced cuts in subsidies, fertilizer prices on the farm may actually decline depending upon the impact of the Indian currency and the recent decline in spot prices for DAP, FOB Tampa. Our forecast for Indian DAP shipments reflect this and are expected to rebound 4% during the Indian 2012, 2013 fiscal year.

As announced last week, Canpotex and our Chinese customers have reached agreement on a new first half 2012 contract for delivery of 500,000 tonnes in the second calendar quarter, with a customer option for an additional 200,000 tonnes in the same period. The price is unchanged from the previous contract. This contract resolves another uncertainty with respect to the near-term potash global supply and demand outlook. Finally, we saw ammonia spot prices decline dramatically this quarter. These events demonstrate that the near-term challenges are diminishing, while both the near- and long-term outlook remains positive. We continue to expect a strong spring season in North America and significantly improved fourth quarter financial performance.

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