Mosaic Co., one of the world’s largest fertilizer producers, posted a 26 percent increase in quarterly earnings — besting Wall Street forecasts while also signaling solid demand for fertilizer this spring.
“We are seeing strong demand and improving sentiment in most of our geographies,” Mosaic CEO Jim Prokopanko said in a statement Thursday. “Global farm economics remain compelling.”
Plymouth-based Mosaic produces potash and phosphate-based fertilizer, operating huge mines for the two minerals respectively in Saskatchewan, Canada and south-central Florida.
The company earned $344.6 million, or 81 cents per share, during its fiscal third quarter, compared with 64 cents per share a year ago. However, the quarter included $44 million, or 7 cents per share, in charges, mostly due to an antitrust lawsuit settlement related to its potash business.
Excluding that charge and other one-time items, the company reported earnings of 90 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters. That’s two cents above the 88 cents forecast on average by stock analysts polled by both Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.
“It was a solid quarter,” Matthew Korn, a Barclays stock analyst told Bloomberg News. “These results signal a positive underlying view of global demand for potash and phosphates.”
Mosaic’s stock closed Thursday at $59.61, up 93 cents or 1.6 percent.
The company’s third-quarter revenue tallied $2.24 billion, a bit below analysts’ estimates of $2.3 billion, but up 2 percent over a year ago.
Potash sales totaled $758 million, up 37 percent from a year ago due to significantly higher volumes, which helped make up for lower potash prices.
Phosphate sales were $1.5 billion for the quarter, down 9 percent from a year ago, primarily due to lower prices for the finished product.
Star Tribune staff writer Steve Alexander contributed to this report.