Other key highlights include: record quarterly potash sales volumes; Canpotex fully committed for 2017; merger of equals with Agrium expected to close by the end of 4Q17; full-year 2017 earnings guidance range adjusted to $0.48 – $0.54 per share, including costs related to the merger of $0.08 per share.
The President and CEO of PotashCorp, Jochen Tilk, said: “With strong customer engagement in all key markets, potash fundamentals continued to improve in the third quarter.
“In this environment, we delivered stronger potash results on record quarterly sales volumes and higher price realisations. Importantly, we expect that the rising consumption trends in place today will continue, with the potential for another record shipment year in 2018.
“We have made significant progress related to our merger with Agrium. On the regulatory front, we recently announced that we received clearance in Canada as well as in India – where we have committed to divesting three of our minority shareholdings. With approvals obtained in four jurisdictions and only the US and China remaining, we continue to expect the merger of equals to close by the end of 2017 and are well-positioned to deliver on the strategic benefits and synergy potential of this transaction.”
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. recorded 3Q17 earnings of $0.06 per share ($53 million), including a non-cash impairment charge in phosphate of $0.03 per share, bringing the nine-month total to $0.48 per share ($403 million). Results for the quarter were down from the $0.10 per share ($81 million) earned in 3Q16, whilst the nine-month total exceeded the $0.33 per share ($277 million) earned in the same period last year.
Gross margin for the quarter was $230 million and $753 million for the first nine months. This surpassed levels last year of $190 million and $667 million, respectively. This is primarily because of higher potash contributions that more than offset weaker nitrogen and phosphate results. Cash from operating activities prior to working capital changes of $290 million for the quarter and $935 million for the first nine months surpassed 2016’s totals of $247 million and $908 million for the same periods.
Investments in Arab Potash Co. (APC) in Jordan, Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) in Israel and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) in Chile contributed $35 million to the company’s earnings for the third quarter, bringing the total for the first nine months to $132 million. Totals for the third quarter as well as the first nine months exceeded the respective amounts generated last year, which also included a dividend from Sinofert Holdings Ltd (Sinofert) in China. The market value of PotashCorp’s investments in these four publicly traded companies was approximately $6.6 billion ($8 per PotashCorp share) at market close on 25 October 2017.