CALGARY – Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) says it reaped a substantial increase in profit last year, bolstered by a strong fourth quarter.
The Calgary-based fertilizer producer and retailer, which reports in U.S. currency, had $200 million of net income in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $51 million a year earlier. The profit amounted to $1.45 per share, up from 33 cents in the fourth quarter of 2014.
For the full year, net income rose by $268 million to $988 million or $6.98 per share, up from $4.97 in 2014.
Agrium’s sales were down year-over-year, to $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter and $14.8 billion in 2015. That compared with $2.7 billion in sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 and $16 billion for all of 2014.
Agrium’s net income was above the estimate of $1.39 per share but sales were about $445 million below the consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters.
For 2016, Agrium is estimating earnings per share of between US$5.50 and $7.