May 8, 2018 / 12:10 AM / 6 months ago

Nutrien posts smaller-than-expected profit on delayed spring season

(Reuters) - Canadian fertilizer and farm supply dealer Nutrien Ltd (NTR.TO), formed in a merger this year, posted a smaller-than-expected profit in the first quarter on Monday, hurt by a delayed spring season and transportation bottlenecks in Canada.

Nutrien, however, said it expects the current quarter to be strong and raised its full-year guidance.

The company, reporting its second results since being formed by the merger of Agrium Inc and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan in January, raised its 2018 full-year forecast to $2.20 to $2.60 per share, compared with its previous guidance of $2.10 to $2.60 per share.

“Nutrien’s first quarter was affected by a late start to the spring season across North America and west coast rail performance issues. However, we expect a strong second quarter with improved grower margins and strong demand and firm prices for most crop inputs,” said Chief Executive Officer Chuck Magro.

Excluding items, the company earned 16 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 20 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The net loss was $1 million in the quarter ended March 31. The company said on a pro forma basis, it earned $149 million or 13 cents a share, a year earlier.

Combined revenue of the companies fell to $3.70 billion from $3.74 billion.

Nutrien’s U.S.-listed shares were marginally down in after-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange to $46.21.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma and Taenaz Shakir in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler

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