NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (POT is scheduled to report first quarter earnings before the market open on Thursday, April 30, with a conference call scheduled for 1:00 pm ET. Potash is an integrated fertilizer and feed products company.
EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 50c on revenue of $1.67B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 44c-55c on revenue of $1.58B-$1.81B.
LAST QUARTER: Potash reported fourth quarter EPS of 49c against estimates for 46c, on revenue of $1.9B against estimates for $1.67B. Potash reported Q4 sales volumes of 2.5M tonnes. Looking ahead, the company forecast Q1 EPS of 45c-55c, compared to consensus of 50c, and fiscal 2015 EPS of $1.90-$2.20, versus consensus of $2.12. Potash sees FY15 potash sales volumes of 9.2M-9.7M tonnes and FY15 potash gross margin of $1.5B-$1.8B. FY15 CapEx is expected to be $1.2B, slightly above the previous year given higher sustaining spending for the company's phosphate division to adhere to a recent EPA ruling along with a carryover of certain amounts of capital from 2014. The company said, “The agricultural outlook remains supportive. Even as prices for many crops settled at lower levels in 2014, we believe they continue to provide economic incentives for farmers to improve yields, encouraging growth in demand for our products.” On March 18, Potash said it expects FY15 pre-tax earnings to be reduced byC$75M-C$100M due to tax changes.
STREET RESEARCH: Street research has been positive in the weeks leading up to Potash’s Q1 earnings report. On March 17, Societe Generale upgraded Potash to Buy from Hold. On April 14, Stifel said it was upbeat on potash producers as the firm expects global potash prices to continue to rise this year, reflecting ongoing supply constraints and the recent price floor set by China. The firm kept Buy ratings on Potash and Mosaic (MOS - Get Report). On April 23, HSBC upgraded Potash from Buy from Hold ahead of Q1 results and reduced its price target to $38.50 from $40. HSBC's analyst wanted to hear about the direction of royalty reform in Saskatchewan, a global potash market update, and any new plans for capital allocation on the call.
PRICE ACTION: Potash shares have lost approximately 9% since the company's Q4 report. In afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's Q1 report, Potash’s shares are down fractionally to $33.
Reporting by Dana Kenyon.