The Gory Details of Agrium's Earnings Miss

Agrium (NYSE: AGU  ) reported earnings on May 9. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Agrium missed estimates on revenues and whiffed on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue contracted. GAAP earnings per share shrank.

Margins expanded across the board.

Revenue details
Agrium logged revenue of $3.22 billion. The 16 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated a top line of $3.49 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 11% lower than the prior-year quarter's $3.63 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.94. The 22 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $1.09 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.94 for Q1 were 3.1% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.97 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 22.2%, 20 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 6.8%, 60 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 4.4%, 20 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $7.20 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $5.11.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $17.28 billion. The average EPS estimate is $9.39.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,731 members out of 1,774 rating the stock outperform, and 43 members rating it underperform. Among 292 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 283 give Agrium a green thumbs-up, and nine give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Agrium is outperform, with an average price target of $115.63.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On May 13, 2013, at 10:47 AM, wwmcn wrote:

    As I recall, prior year's quarter was enhanced by abnormally advanced planting season, particularly of corn. The weather this planting season has been abnormally slow, which likely accounts for a major part of the lower sales in the quarter.

    The question becomes, will the current quarter be better than the previous year? Good chance. At the very least, this depends on fertilizer margins, planted acreage, both of which depend on other variables.

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