U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co reported a 79 per cent plunge in quarterly profit on Tuesday as prices fell.
A slide in grain prices and last summer’s breakup of the Belarusian Potash Co caused a sharp drop in the price of the crop nutrients potash and phosphate.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter slid to $129-million, or 30 cents per share, the company’s second-smallest quarterly profit in four years. A year earlier, it earned $616-million, or $1.44 per share.
Revenue dropped 8 per cent to $2.2-billion.
The results included one-time items that weakened earnings by 6 cents per share.
Analysts, on average, expected Mosaic to earn 42 cents a share on sales of $1.86-billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Plymouth, Minnesota-based company also said it will buy back $1-billion of its shares, topping up a $2-billion repurchase program announced in December.