Mosaic’s Q2 Sales Shrink By 16% (MOS)

Even though orders for potash and phosphate from Asia contracted sharply, denting sales, Mosaic Co.’s (NYSE: MOS) fiscal second-quarter profit edged higher, thanks mainly to tax benefits.

The Minnesota-based Company, which is world’s largest potash and phosphate fertilizer producer, said that its operating profits slumped 30 percent in the fiscal second quarter.

The decline in profits was due to falling demand as well as prices in international markets (China, India), said the Company.

The company said that prices came under pressure lately as it was involved with long-drawn-out negotiations with buyers in India and China, who insisted on lower prices even as better demand in the U.S. helped in offsetting overall declining demand.

Speaking to analysts and investors, Mosaic’s Chief Executive, Jim Prokopanko, said that even though China has agreed to new potash contract, short-term headwinds do remain for the company.

“The market is really a tale of two hemispheres,” said Prokopanko said in a conference call with investors and analysts.

For the quarter ended November 30, the Company reported a profit of $628.8 million, or $1.47 a share, up from $623.6 million, or $1.40 a share, in the year earlier quarter.

Sales during the period fell 16% to $2.54 billion. The Top line was impacted by lower phosphate and potash volumes and lower phosphate prices.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecasted earnings of 93 cents a share on revenue of $2.57 billion.

Gross margin shrunk to 26.7% from 29.2%.

For 2013, the company has cut its outlook on global shipments for both potash and phosphate. The Company now expects to ship 55 million to 57 million tons of potash in 2013, down from initial forecast of 58 million to 60 million tons while shipment for phosphate is expected between 63 million and 65 million tons, down from 1 million tons.

Shares closed 3.26% higher on Friday at $58.62.




Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.