Agrium Inc. (AGU: Quote,AGU.TO: Quote) reported that its second quarter net earnings attributable to equity holders grew to $860 million or $5.44 per share from $718 million or $4.54 per share a year ago.Excluding items, net earnings would have been $864-million or $5.47 per share for the recent quarter.
On average, 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $5.22 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Sales rose to $6.83 billion from $6.20 billion in the prior-year quarter. Seventeen analysts estimated revenues of $6.60 billion.
Separately, the announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the making of a Dutch auction substantial issuer bid to repurchase $900-million of its outstanding shares. Agrium anticipates that the Bid will commence in early September 2012 and be scheduled to be completed in mid-October 2012.
Agrium also reached an agreement for Glencore International plcGLEN.L, GLNCY.PK, GLCNF.PK) to sell Viterra's(VT.TO, VTA.AX), minority position in a nitrogen facility located in Medicine Hat, Alberta to CF Industries Holdings, Inc. for $915-million. The resulting net purchase price for the portion related to the retail business is estimated to be about $175-million plus about $400-million in retail working capital.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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