Agrium (TSX: T.AGU, Stock Forum) late Thursday reported second-quarter net earnings of US$860 million, or $5.44 per share, compared with $718-million, or $4.54 per share, during the same period last year. Earnings got a big boost from higher nitrogen and potash prices.
Revenue for the quarter rose 10% to $6.8 billion. Analysts expected a profit of $4.65 per share on revenue of $6.5 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
"We expect high crop prices and tight grain inventories to create significant support for international nutrient demand in the coming year, as growers globally are expected to expand acreage and optimize application rates," said Agrium President and CEO Mike Wilson.
"Inventories for most crop nutrients remain tight in North America as retailers have ended the season largely empty. The combination of these factors and an expected early start to the fall harvest and application season is expected to result in solid crop input demand in the back half of 2012 and Agrium will be there to provide the expertise and products necessary for growers to meet the unrelenting global growth in demand for food."