) first-quarter 2013 earnings of 94 cents missed the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $1.07 and were below 97 cents earned in the
year ago quarter. Profit dipped 9% year over year to $141
million, hurt by lower sales.
Revenues fell roughly 9.7% year over year to $3,224 million in
the reported quarter, also missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of $3,491 million. Lower sales in the Retail segment led to the
decline in sales.
Revenues from the Retail segment decreased 13% year over year
to $2.1 billion in the reported quarter due to colder weather and
a more typical spring season compared with the prior year
quarter. Gross profit fell 11.9% year over year to $376 million.
Despite delay in the start of spring season the segment achieved
earnings before Interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
(EBITDA) of $25 million, matching the second highest first
quarter EBITDA recorded a year ago.
The Wholesale segment sales fell slightly to $1.1 billion from
$1.2 billion in the previous year quarter. The segment's EBITDA
of $375 million represented the second highest EBITDA for a first
quarter and increased from $363 million in prior year quarter.
Higher sales volumes and margins for nitrogen and strong volumes
for potash supported the strong results.
Revenues from the Advanced Technologies division were almost
at par with the year ago quarter at $133 million. EBITDA shot up
three-fold year over year to $6 million due to strong
Environmentally Smart Nitrogen ("ESN") volumes and margins.
Agrium's cash and cash equivalents stood at $585 million as of
Mar 31, 2013, compared with $1,752 million as of Mar 31, 2012.
Long-term debt was $2,078 million as of Mar 31, 2013, compared
with $2,074 million as of Mar 31, 2012.
Agrium entered into an agreement to acquire certain
agri-products assets of Viterra from Glencore (Glencore acquired
Viterra in Dec 2012) for a purchase consideration of
C$1.775-billion, including Viterra's 34% interest in a nitrogen
facility located in Medicine Hat. The acquisition is subject to
regulatory approval which Agrium expects to obtain late in the
second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2013.
Moving ahead, Agrium expects strong demand for crop inputs in
2013 as farmers seek to increase crop yields through utilizing
top seed genetics, crop protection products, and crop nutrients.
Demand for crop protection products, primarily fungicides, is
expected to improve in 2013 under more normal growing conditions.
Agrium believes that farmers will continue to seek high-quality
products, services, and expertise to boost yield and productivity
in coming years.
Agrium, which is among the prominent fertilizer companies
CF Industries Holdings Inc.
of Saskatchewan Inc.
), stands to gain from rising crop prices and overall strong
fundamentals for the agriculture and crop input market.
AGRIUM INC (AGU): Free Stock Analysis Report
CF INDUS HLDGS (CF): Free Stock Analysis
MOSAIC CO/THE (MOS): Free Stock Analysis
POTASH SASK (POT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Agrium currently retains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).