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Mosaic profit slides on lower phosphate prices

Mike James, an employee of Mosaic Co, holds phosphate pebbles as it comes off the grading screens at Mosaic's South Fort Meade Mine in Fort Meade, Florida in this January 13, 2010 file photo.

SCOTT AUDETTE/REUTERS

Mosaic Co. posted a 22-per-cent drop in quarterly profit on Tuesday as prices for its phosphate fertilizer fell.

The company posted net income of $507.3-million, or $1.19 per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with $649.2-million, or $1.45 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell about 1 per cent to $2.82-billion, but still beat the $2.55-billion analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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The company doubled its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share from 12.5 cents. It was Mosaic's second dividend increase this year.

Prices for phosphate, the second-most important fertilizer for farmers to apply and a key Mosaic product, fell to $494 per metric ton from $574 a year earlier.

Prices for potash, another key Mosaic product, rose between the two periods to $455 per metric ton.

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