Agrium says low prices to sink earnings to low end of guidance

Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:38pm EST

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Canadian fertilizer company Agrium Inc said its fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations will be at the lower end of its guidance due to lower sales prices.

The company cited lower-than-expected sales prices in wholesale nutrients and reduced domestic sales volumes of potash, partly due to issues faced with rail shipments.

Agrium had said it expected to earn between 80 cents per share to $1.25 per share for the fourth quarter.

Analysts on an average expect earnings of 99 cents per share in the fourth quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company had warned in November that uncertainty in fertilizer markets caused several buyers to delay crop nutrient purchases.

Agrium also expects to record a one-time adjustment of $250 million relating to the Viterra Agri-business deal. A goodwill impairment of $200 million in its Landmark unit is also expected in the fourth quarter.

Shares of the Calgary, Alberta-based company closed at C$104.37 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.

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