Mosaic Company Earnings Hide Some Weakness Ahead

Tractor in field on farm
Tractor in field on farm

The Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) reported fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2013 results before markets opened this morning.

The fertilizer maker reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.14 on revenues of $2.69 billion for the quarter. In the same period a year ago, Mosaic reported EPS of $1.19 on revenue of $2.82 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.12 and $2.54 billion in revenue.

For the full year, Mosaic posted EPS of $4.42 on sales of $10 billion. The consensus estimate called for sales of $9.63 billion and EPS of $4.08. The sales estimate comes from Thomson Reuters and the earnings estimate courtesy of FactSet.

Mosaic expects potash sales during the third calendar quarter (the company's first fiscal quarter runs from June through August) to total 1.8 to 2.1 million metric tons (tonnes) at an average realized price in the range of $330 to $360 a tonne. Gross margin on potash sales is forecast in the mid to high 30% range. In the fourth quarter, gross margin on potash sales came in at 47%.

In the company's phosphates segment, sales are forecast at 2.9 to 3.3 million tonnes for the third calendar quarter at an average realized price of $430 to $465 per tonne. Gross margin is forecast to be flat with the prior quarter, at 17%.

The company's CEO said:

Mosaic delivered outstanding results despite difficult external factors such as the late and compressed North American spring planting season, and additional logistical challenges. The long-term outlook for Mosaic remains compelling, and we are executing well to capture the opportunity. ... We continue to forecast calendar 2013 will be a near record year for potash shipments, and that the world will need our new capacity. ... Despite near-term softness, the phosphate market looks balanced over the medium term, with expected strong demand growth absorbing new supply.

Gross margins fell sequentially from about 30% to about 29%%, and operating profit was down from $670.8 million to $620.7 million year-over-year.

FactSet estimates EPS for the coming fiscal year at $4.75 and a consensus PE ratio of just 11.57 for 2014.

Shares closed at $56.13 last night and rose 0.3% in after-hours trading, to $56.30. The stock's 52-week range is $48.29 to $64.65. FactSet had a consensus analyst price target of around $66.00 before today's results were announced.

Filed under: Commodities & Metals Tagged: MOS