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Agrium profit surges, widens outlook

Agrium Inc. reported a higher third-quarter profit that topped analyst expectations and the company widened its outlook for the second half of the year amid turmoil in the global economic and commodity markets.

Agrium, the world’s third-largest nitrogen producer and the top U. S. retailer of crop supplies, earned $367 million or $2.31 a share in the quarter, as surging grain markets pushed up demand and prices for the fertilizers it sells to farmers and wholesale markets. That compares with a profit of $51 million or 38 cents a share a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting an average of $1.93 a share before items and revenue of $2.22 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

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