* Q3 EPS 78 cents vs. 82 cents
* Revenue falls 58 percent
* Shares down in after-hours trading
(Adds industry background, price information; updates share
By Ernest Scheyder
NEW YORK, Oct 26 Fertilizer producer CF
Industries Holdings Inc (CF.N) said on Monday third-quarter
profit fell 18 percent, missing Wall Street's expectations, as
prices and demand for its products plunged.
The fertilizer industry posted record profits a year ago as
grain prices soared, driving a huge increase in fertilizer
demand and a spike in pricing. But the recession, tight credit
markets and weakened grain prices have hurt the sector's
results during the last year.
Deerfield, Illinois-based CF, which has launched a hostile
bid for rival Terra Industries Inc TRA.N, said its average
urea selling price fell 12 percent during the quarter and
average ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate prices declined by
about 50 percent.
"Domestic distributors and retailers remain hesitant to
carry inventory because of the write-downs they experienced as
prices fell last winter," Chief Executive Stephen Wilson said
in a statement.
Also during the quarter, the company's natural gas cost
fell by about 31 percent. Natural gas is an important feedstock
for the fertilizer industry.
The company expects "reasonably good" fall demand and solid
spring demand because of strong corn markets.
Last week, rival Agrium Inc (AGU.TO), which is trying to
buy CF, said its third quarter profit would drop 90 percent to
95 percent from a year earlier. [ID:nBNG237646]
For the quarter, CF posted net income of $38.5 million, or
78 cents per share, compared with $47.1 million, or 82 cents
per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding a proposed business combination and Peru project
development costs of 21 cents per share, the company posted
profits of 99 cents per share.
By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $1.02,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S estimates.
Revenue fell 58 percent to $430.1 million. Analysts
expected $438 million.
The company's shares fell $1.41 to $84 in after-hours
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder and Matt Daily; editing by