April 28 Canada’s Potash Corp of Saskatchewan , the world’s biggest fertilizer company by capacity, cut its full-year profit forecast on weak demand and lower prices on Thursday, raising concerns of another dividend cut.
The company in January cut its dividend by 34 percent to $1 on an annual basis as potash prices plunged due to overcapacity and weak currencies in major consumers such as India and Brazil. BMO analyst Joel Jackson said Potash may need to cut the dividend further as it represents 143 percent of its estimated profit this year.
U.S.-listed shares of Potash fell 3 percent to $17.61 after the company posted an 80 percent plunge in first-quarter profit. Potash is monitoring its dividend level, but an adjustment would be premature until the company better understands when the market will recover, Chief Executive Jochen Tilk told analysts on a conference call to discuss earnings.
Potash should weigh alternatives to cutting the dividend such as selling its stakes in other fertilizer companies, said Ryan Bushell, portfolio manager at Leon Frazer & Associates.
“Long-term, we’re not fans of companies that cut dividends to appease pressure,” he said. “We’re fans of companies that stick to their discipline.”
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