The company expects a record earnings year.
Agrium announced today consolidated net earnings of $293-million ($1.85 diluted earnings per share) for the third quarter of 2011, compared with the net earnings of $61-million in the third quarter of 2010 ($0.39 diluted earnings per share).
"Results from our Retail business were particularly strong this quarter, as we achieved record sales and our second highest earnings for a third quarter. Agrium's Wholesale results were also the second highest on record for a third quarter, due to yet another quarter of excellent margins supported by strong crop nutrient prices. We expect
the strength in our business to extend through the fall application season and into 2012, due to the continuation of tight agricultural fundamentals providing economic incentive for growers to optimize crop acreage, yields and crop inputs (1)," said Mike Wilson, Agrium president and CEO.
"Despite the recent global economic uncertainty and volatility, we believe that the strong fundamental drivers supporting demand in agricultural and crop input markets remain firmly in place. Consequently, the outlook for Agrium's businesses and products is excellent. This will enable us to continue to capitalize on our unique competitive strengths and deliver value to our shareholders and customers alike," added Wilson.
Agrium is providing guidance for the fourth quarter of 2011 of $1.80 to $2.30 diluted earnings per share. This excludes any estimates for hedging gains or losses or share-based payments expense in the fourth quarter.(1)
The 2011 third quarter results included a pre-tax gain of $1-million ($nil diluted earnings per share) on natural gas and other hedge positions and a pre-tax recovery of $46-million ($0.21 diluted earnings per share) on share-based payments expense.(2)
(1)See disclosure in the section "Outlook, Key Risks and Uncertainties" in our 2011 third quarter MD&A and additional assumptions in the section "Management's Discussion and Analysis".
(2)Third quarter effective tax rate of 28 percent used for adjusted diluted earnings per share calculations.