* Q3 EPS C$0.33 vs C$0.17 a year earlier
* Q3 revenue up 43 pct at C$3.55 billion
* Sees shipment volumes remaining strong in coming months
* Shares up 4.2 pct in midday trading on the TSX
(Adds analyst's comments, details on share price move)
By Euan Rocha
TORONTO, Sept 7 Viterra Inc VT.TO said on
Wednesday its quarterly profit nearly doubled, driven by record
grain shipments through ports in Australia, higher grain
prices, and strong demand for fertilizers in North America.
Viterra, the biggest grain handler in Canada and South
Australia, said strong shipment volumes are expected to lift
its grain-handling and marketing operations going into its
fiscal 2012, beginning in November.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company stands to benefit from
bigger grain and canola harvests this autumn in Western Canada,
although spring flooding left millions of unplanted acres for a
second straight year.
Across the Canadian Prairies, the harvest is well underway
and higher than average yields are expected from this year's
crop due to favorable weather for much of the growing season,
the company said.
"The quality of the crop in Western Canada looks promising.
However, it is dependent on favorable harvest weather for the
next couple of months," the company said in a statement.
Shares of the company were up 43 Canadian cents at C$10.73
in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Earnings rose to C$123.25 million ($124.7 million), or 33
Canadian cents a share, in the company's third quarter, ended
July 31, compared with C$63.54 million, or 17 Canadian cents, a
Analysts had expected earnings of 30 Canadian cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
In a note to clients, UBS analyst Tasneem Azim said the
company's agri-products business drove much of the earnings
increase, while results from its food processing business were
in-line with her expectations.
Azim, who has a "buy" rating on the stock, also noted that
results from the grain-handling and marketing arm were slightly
below her expectations.
Quarterly revenue rose to C$3.55 billion from C$2.49
South Australia ports shipped a record high 6.8 million
tonnes of grain from last October through July. Viterra owns 95
percent of South Australia's storage and handling network.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Pav Jordan in Toronto; Editing by
Frank McGurty and Peter Galloway)