Agrium expects Q4 2013 earnings from continuing operations to be at bottom of previously released guidance range of US$0.80-US$1.25/diluted share due to lower than expected sales prices across wholesale nutrients, UAN, domestic potash sales volumes
January 21, 2014
– Agrium (TSX:AGU)(NYSE:AGU) announced today that it expects its fourth quarter 2013 earnings from continuing operations to be at the bottom of the previously released guidance range of $0.80 to $1.25 per diluted share1.
The update to guidance is primarily due to lower than expected sales prices across all Wholesale nutrients in the quarter and lower than expected UAN and domestic potash sales volumes, partly due to challenges with domestic rail shipments.
Agrium's Retail operations are expected to achieve record results for the fourth quarter and for the 2013 year. Retail was able to offset industry headwinds of lower nutrient prices and a compressed fall season in the U.S. by achieving higher margins for nutrients, seed and services and other product lines.
Corporate inter-segment eliminations, largely related to Wholesale nutrient volumes that have been purchased by Retail but have not yet been sold to end customers, were higher than anticipated. These eliminations postpone the recognition of these sales and impact earnings by approximately $18-million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Earnings from these sales will be recognized once Retail completes the sale to end-customers this spring.
Agrium also expects to report a number of one-time adjustments in the fourth quarter of 2013 that are excluded from the fourth quarter guidance. This includes a purchase gain of approximately $250-million related to the acquisition of the Viterra Agri-business on October 1, 2013. Pertaining to the AWB Ltd. / Landmark acquisition, we will reflect the receipt of approximately $70-million for an insurance recovery relating to a long-standing litigation case on soybean shipments and a goodwill impairment of approximately $220-million in Landmark due to lower than expected business performance and delays in synergy realization.
As noted in our January 8, 2014 press release, Agrium has completed a strategic review of our Agrium Advanced Technologies ("AAT") business unit and is reviewing options, including divesture, for the turf and ornamental and direct solutions businesses. AAT is not expected to contribute to EBIT in the fourth quarter of 2013 due primarily to delayed sales of ESN.
1Earnings are subject to completion of quarterly financial close processes and approval of the 2013 audited financial statements by Agrium's Board of Directors.
The major assumptions made in updating our fourth quarter guidance are outlined below and include but are not limited to:
Agrium Inc. is a major Retail supplier of agricultural products and services in North America, South America and Australia and a leading global Wholesale producer and marketer of all three major agricultural nutrients and the premier supplier of specialty fertilizers in North America. Agrium's strategy is to provide the crop inputs and services needed to feed a growing world. We focus on maximizing shareholder returns by driving continuous improvements to our base businesses, pursuing value-added growth opportunities across the crop input value chain and returning capital to shareholders.