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Mosaic 3Q profit plunges nearly 89 percent

The Mosaic Co., a fertilizer maker, reported Tuesday that fiscal third-quarter profit fell nearly 89 percent as sales slid 36 percent.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Mosaic Co., a fertilizer maker, reported Tuesday that fiscal third-quarter profit fell nearly 89 percent as sales slid 36 percent.

The results were well below Wall Street expectations.

The company said that for the quarter ended Feb. 28 it earned $58.8 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a profit of $520.8 million, or $1.17 a share, for the same period a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who generally exclude one-time items from their estimates, were expecting earnings of 24 cents a share in the quarter.

Revenue in the quarter plunged to $1.38 billion, compared with $2.15 billion a year earlier. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.89 billion in the quarter.

"Despite the turmoil in commodity markets, we remain confident that long-term agricultural fundamentals are excellent. This is a self-correcting cycle because demand for crop nutrients can only be deferred for so long," said Jim Prokopanko, Mosaic's president and chief executive officer. "Large crops are still required to secure the world's food supply and crop nutrients will play an essential role in achieving that objective. We are well positioned financially and strategically to serve our customers and create value for our shareholders."

The company said fiscal fourth-quarter results are expected to improve from third-quarter levels while remaining weak compared with the recent past.