Mosaic Misses as Phosphate Sales Plunge

Production problems at its Florida operations reduced supply


Mosaic Misses as Phosphate Sales Plunge

Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) announced on Tuesday that it earned $429.4 million during its fiscal first quarter, down from $526 million in the same period last year.

EPS came in at $1.01, down from $1.17 in 2011, and well below the $1.15 a share that Wall Street was expecting, Reuters noted.

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First-quarter revenue at the fertilizer-maker dropped to $2.51 billion, down 19% compared to last year, and missing the $2.68 billion that analysts had forecast.

Investors weren’t happy. Mosaic shares fell almost 4% in Tuesday afternoon trading.

Company officials said the quarter’s results were hurt by supply shortages of phosphate due to production problems at its Florida mining operation. Maintenance issues and disruptions from Hurricane Isaac in August added to the production woes. Sales of phosphate tumbled 30% compared to last year.

In addition to supply difficulties, phosphate prices dropped from $576 per metric ton in 2011, to $529 per metric ton this year.

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