This is compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $38 million ($0.28 diluted loss per share) in 3Q16. The results from the quarter were reportedly driven by lower overall sales volumes and higher cost of product sold related to a number of scheduled maintenance turnarounds and higher share-based payments due to a year-to-date total shareholder return of 10% at 30 September.
Highlights from 3Q17 include the following:
- 3Q17 loss from continuing operations – adjusted for items not included in guidance – was $27 million, or $0.23 diluted loss per share.
- Wholesale conducted numerous scheduled maintenance turnarounds this quarter, some of which took longer than expected, but operating rates are now back at normal levels.
- The Retail business unit reported a 9% increase in EBITDA in 3Q17, despite the consequences of severe dry weather in both Australia and Canada. US retail earnings were up 22% as contributions from acquisitions and stronger proprietary sales more than offset the impact of severe hurricanes in the southern US.
- Retail made additional acquisitions in 3Q17 with Southern States Cooperative in Georgia and Florida (20 locations). Year-to-date, Retail has bought 38 locations with estimated yearly revenues of approximately $250 million.
- Agrium has updated its 2017 annual guidance to a range of $4.65 – $4.80 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations, largely reflecting lower volumes resulting from facility downtime.
- The company recently completed the sale of its Conda phosphate and North Bend nitric acid facilities and the merger recently received regulatory approval in China. The sale of the Agrium assets are being reviewed by the US Federal Trade Commission – the only remaining approval required on the merger. The parties are still expecting the close of the merger by the end of the 4Q17.
- A loss of $182 million, net of tax was recorded in discontinued operations associated with the sale of Conda.
The President and CEO of Agrium, Chuck Magro, said: “Our results this quarter were impacted by a particularly intense summer maintenance schedule, extreme dry weather in Canada and Australia and the two hurricanes in the southern US. Looking at the fall season and into 2018, we see solid grower demand for fertilizer and other crop inputs, and expect fertilizer markets to demonstrate continued strength.
"The sale of Conda and North Bend and China's recent regulatory approval are significant steps toward completing the merger with PotashCorp by year end and we are excited to move forward as Nutrien in 2018.”