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Mosaic 3Q profit rises 26 pct as more potash sold

PLYMOUTH, Minn. (AP) -- Fertilizer maker Mosaic said Thursday that its net income rose 26 percent in its fiscal third quarter as it sold more potash and costs dropped for phosphate.

Potash and phosphate are both key ingredients in fertilizer.

Since the quarter's end, on Feb. 28, Mosaic is seeing strong demand in most of the regions it serves, said CEO Jim Prokopanko said in a statement.

Mosaic Co. earned $344.6 million, or 81 cents per share, for the December-February period. That compares with earnings of $273.3 million, or 64 cents per share, a year ago.

Taking out 7 cents per share for a potash antitrust settlement and other items, earnings were 88 cents per share. Analysts predicted earnings of 87 cents per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue rose 2 percent, to $2.24 billion from $2.19 billion. Wall Street expected revenue of $2.32 billion. Potash sales rose 37 percent to $758 million on increased volumes, although prices fell. Sales of phosphates fell 9 percent to $1.5 billion, despite higher volumes, as prices fell.

The company was more profitable because of the higher potash volumes and lower costs for raw materials in its phosphate unit.

Shares rose $1.23, or 2.1 percent, to $59.99 in premarket trading.