Nutrien Ltd. (Nutrien) recently announced its 2019 first-quarter results, with net earnings from continuing operations of $41 million ($0.07 diluted earnings per share). First-quarter adjusted net earnings was $0.20 per share and adjusted EBITDA was $697 million. Adjusted net earnings (total and per share amounts), adjusted EBITDA and related annual guidance are non-IFRS financial measures.
"Nutrien's first-quarter adjusted EBITDA was 22 percent higher than 2018 despite being impacted by the second wettest six-month period in the US in 125 years. While some regions are still receiving excess moisture, planting is underway and we expect strong crop input demand in the second quarter. As such, we are maintaining our annual guidance for 2019," commented Chuck Magro, Nutrien's President and CEO.
"Our organization is focused on what it can control and how best to deliver long-term value to stakeholders. In the first quarter, we allocated almost $1 billion towards growing our Retail business in core markets and repurchased over $800 million of our stock. We also continue to pursue operational enhancements across our world-class integrated network and to lead the way in digital transformation of the ag-retail industry," added Mr. Magro.
- Retail EBITDA in the first quarter was lower compared to the same period last year due to an extremely wet spring season and flooding in parts of the US. Continued progress was made on Nutrien Ag Solutions digital platform, with customers representing 58 percent of our North American Retail sales signed up on the platform within nine months of launch.
- Potash EBITDA was 41 percent higher in the first quarter compared to the same period last year due to higher net selling prices and strong offshore demand, partially offset by lower North American sales.
- Nitrogen EBITDA in the first quarter was slightly higher than the same period last year due mainly to higher urea and UAN prices being offset by lower total sales volumes resulting from the excess wet weather across the US.
- We strengthened our US Retail business including the acquisitions of Actagro, LLC, Van Horn, Inc., and Security Seed and Chemical, Inc., and completing the remainder of the Agrichem acquisition in Brazil with combined annual revenue of approximately $400 million for these businesses. We also entered into a binding agreement to acquire Ruralco Holdings Limited, the third largest agriculture retailer in Australia.
- Nutrien achieved $621 million in annual run-rate synergies as at March 31, 2019, surpassing the target of $600 million for the end of 2019. This represents a 24 percent increase from the original target of $500 million and was achieved well ahead of schedule.
- Nutrien announced an additional five percent normal course issuer bid program in February 2019 and to date, has repurchased approximately 21 million shares representing over 3 percent of Nutrien's outstanding shares.
- Nutrien full-year 2019 adjusted net earnings per share and adjusted EBITDA guidance is maintained at $2.80 to $3.20 per share and $4.4 billion to $4.9 billion, respectively. First-half 2019 guidance is provided at $1.75 to $1.95 adjusted net earnings per share.