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Agrium raises 4Q forecast, shares jump

The Associated Press

Agrium Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter earnings may come in slightly higher than originally anticipated.

The agricultural products company said that a strong fall season and increased grain and oil seed prices helped boost the performance of its retail and wholesale business.

Agrium expects to earn just above $2.00 per share for the period on an adjusted basis. This is compared with its prior forecast of $1.50 to $1.90 per share.

The Canadian company will report its full fourth-quarter results on Feb. 22.

Agrium also said strong crop prices and low grain inventories worldwide should help its business during the spring season.

Shares increased $2.10, or 1.9 percent, to $112.98 in afternoon trading after hitting a 52-week high of $115.08 earlier in the day.