Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (TSX:POT,NYSE:POT) announced yesterday its Q4 2013 earnings, commenting that they came in at $0.26 per share, or $230 million. The amount includes a $60-million charge for severance-related costs, and is well below the $0.48 per share, or $421 million, recorded in the year-ago quarter.
For the entire year, the company’s earnings came to $2.04 per share, again down from the 2012 total of $2.37 per share.
As quoted in the press release:
Challenging fertilizer market conditions impacted our performance. Gross margins fell as lower prices in all three nutrients more than offset improved costs and higher sales volumes. Total gross margin for both the quarter ($460 million) and the year ($2.8 billion) fell below 2012 same-period results of $586 million and $3.4 billion, respectively.
Bill Doyle, PotashCorp’s president and CEO, commented:
This past quarter was a difficult one. Pricing headwinds – most notably in potash – weighed on our performance, although there were signs as the quarter came to a close that the uncertainty in global markets was beginning to abate. Our focus remained on those things we can influence and we took important steps to enhance our competitive position across all three nutrients and prepare the company to deliver better performance.