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UPDATE 2-Strong fertilizer demand boosts CF's Q4 profit
February 17, 2011 / 11:06 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Strong fertilizer demand boosts CF's Q4 profit

* Q4 adj EPS $2.65 vs. Street forecast $2.56

* Revenue more than doubles to $1.24 billion

* Shares dip 1.9 percent in post-market

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By Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF.N) said quarterly profit spiked due to strong fall fertilizer application, a trend that executives said will continue in 2011.

The company is closely tied to the booming agricultural sector, which has been aided in part by the increasing global demand for food. The nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers that CF sells help farmers grow more food on their land.

“Fall application of ammonia and phosphates was particularly strong because of increased expected crop plantings, higher application rates, high crop prices, an early harvest and favorable weather in the U.S. Midwest,” Chief Executive Stephen Wilson said in a statement.

CF, based in a Chicago suburb, said it expects roughly 92 million acres of corn to be planted this spring, up approximately 4 million acres from 2010.

The company on Thursday posted fourth-quarter net income of $200.3 million, or $2.78 per share, compared with $51.4 million, or $1.04 per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding natural gas derivative gains and other one-time items, the company earned $2.65 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $2.56 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For a CF graphic, click on: r.reuters.com/xad28r

Revenue more than doubled to $1.24 billion. Analysts expected $1.19 billion.

The stock slipped 1.9 percent to $145 per share in after-hours trading. Shares have traded between $57.57 and $153.83 in the past 52 weeks. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Phil Berlowitz)

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