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Canada's Nutrien boosts earnings outlook, posts bigger than expected quarterly profit

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Rod Nickel
·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: An interior view of the storage warehouse is seen at Nutrien's Cory potash mine near Saskatoon
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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canada's Nutrien Ltd, the world's biggest fertilizer producer by capacity, raised its full-year profit guidance and swung to a bigger than expected quarterly profit on Monday, as crop prices climb.

Prices of potash, Nutrien's core crop nutrient, have risen this year in Brazil and the United States. Higher prices of corn and canola give farmers more incentive to apply fertilizer to maximize production.

Nutrien increased its 2021 guidance for adjusted net earnings to between $2.55 and $3.25 per share, up from a previous range of $2.05 to $2.75 per share.

The company's results reflected in part a recovery in global agricultural markets, Chief Executive Mayo Schmidt said.

Investors expect Schmidt, who became CEO last month, to swing deals as part of a more aggressive growth strategy, after an abrupt shake-up at Canada's biggest agriculture company.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company posted adjusted net income of $165 million, or 29 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $69 million, or 12 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a profit of 8 cents per share.

Potash sales rose 10% to 3.2 million tonnes year over year, while Nutrien's average price climbed 8% to $194 per tonne.

Rival Mosaic Co reported quarterly adjusted profit of 57 cents per share and also surpassed expectations, after posting a loss a year ago.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Peter Cooney)