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Potash Corp. 3rd-quarter net income falls 22 pct

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. said Thursday that its net income fell 22 percent on a drop in overseas sales.

The Canadian fertilizer maker earned $645 million, or 74 cents per share, down from $826 million, or 94 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue fell 7.7 percent to $2.14 billion from $2.32 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 76 cents per share on $2.06 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company said demand for potash from farmers in North America and Latin America was very strong, but its sales were hurt by delays in the signing of new contracts with buyers in China and India.

Overall, potash sales volumes fell slightly to 2.1 million tons from 2.2 million tons a year ago. The average potash price fell 5 percent to $429 per ton, as spot market prices softened.

Meanwhile, sales volumes of phosphates edged down to 900,000 tons from 1.1 million a year ago, as the effects of Tropical Storm Debby and tough mining conditions at one of the company's mines limited production. Average phosphate prices dropped 11 percent to $537 per ton, on low prices for fertilizers.

Sales volumes for the company's nitrogen business also fell to 1.1 million tons from 1.3 million tons, but the average price increased 8 percent to $458 per ton.

The company said it full-year potash shipments will be lower than expected. As a result, it now expects its 2012 earnings to total between $2.40 and $2.60 per share, down from its previous prediction of $2.80 to $3.20 per share. Analysts expect a profit of $3.01 per share.

Potash Corp.'s U.S. shares fell 19 cents to $40.40 in morning trading.