Mosaic 1Q profit shrinks on weak fertilizer supply

PLYMOUTH, Minn. -- Mosaic Co.'s net income shrank 18 percent in its fiscal first quarter because of lower prices for its phosphate fertilizer and production problems that weighed on sales volumes.

The company's results missed Wall Street's view and shares dropped $1.38, or 2.4 percent, to $56.63 in premarket trading Tuesday.

For the three months ended Aug. 31, the company earned $429.4 million, or $1.01 per share. A year ago Mosaic earned $526 million, or $1.17 per share.

Excluding one-time items including a legal expense, earnings were $1.03 per share. Analysts predicted $1.16 per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue declined 19 percent to $2.51 billion from $3.08 billion, when Wall Street forecast $2.66 billion. Revenue declined as phosphate sales fell 30 percent to $1.6 billion. There had been low stockpiles of the fertilizer to begin with, Mosaic said, and production took a hit because of longer plant shutdowns and "challenges" from hurricanes. Average prices also dropped 8 percent.

Mosaic wasn't able to meet demand for phosphate fertilizer during the quarter, but supply issues should improve, said CEO Jim Prokopanko.

For its potash fertilizer division, revenue climbed 10 percent to $960 million on higher volumes.