Mosaic Co.’s third-quarter net profit fell as farmers cut back on fertilizer purchases and prices remained under pressure. However, its adjusted profit rose despite higher one-time costs.
James “Joc” O’Rourke, who took over as president and CEO in August, said the company’s improved operating performance came “despite notably weaker crop nutrient prices and a challenging macroeconomic environment.”
Mosaic said Tuesday it earned $160 million, or 45 cents a share, in the July-to-September period, down from $202 million in the same period a year ago.
But the company’s one-time expenses, mainly related to the strong U.S. dollar, lowered per-share earnings by 17 cents. Its adjusted profit of 62 cents per share exceeded the 55 cents that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast. A year ago, one-time expenses lowered its net profit by 2 cents and its adjusted profit amounted to 56 cents per share.
Revenue was $2.1 billion, down from $2.3 billion a year ago, as a result of lower volumes and prices.
The company’s share price rose 5.9 percent to $36.51 by the end of the day. It had previously lost more than 21 percent during the past 12 months.
Mosaic, based in Plymouth, is a global producer of phosphate and potash crop nutrients for agricultural operations worldwide. Those products are highly cyclical and heavily influenced by economic and political influences that affect its share price and long-term equity awards for executives.
In September the company upgraded its third-quarter guidance and said it was reducing production of potash because domestic and international crop nutrient markets had softened.
Two weeks ago, the company went a step further and laid off 46 workers, or 8 percent of its workforce, at its Colonsay potash mine in Saskatchewan. Executives said at the time that the layoffs would be permanent and that potash prices have fallen in the past year because of excessive mining capacity and reduced demand in key markets. A weak economy in Brazil and a new tax in China also had delayed fertilizer purchases.
Goldman Sachs analyst Adam Samuelson called the latest earnings report an “operationally weak quarter relative to already subdued expectations after the September pre-announcement.”
Staff writer Evan Ramstad contributed to this report.