Strong potash sales boost Israel Chemicals revenue

The company will distribute a $668 million dividend but missed the analysts' revenue and earnings per share consensus.

Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) posted higher revenue and profits for the first quarter, thanks to strong potash sales. The company nonetheless missed the analysts' revenue and earnings per share consensus.

Revenue rose 54% to $1.38 billion for the first quarter from $898.5 million for the corresponding quarter of 2009. Net profit rose 51% to $241.6 million for the first quarter from $153.2 million for the corresponding quarter, and net profit attributable to equity shareholders rose to $240.5 million ($0.19 per share) from $158.8 million. The market consensus was a net profit of $254 million on $532 million revenue.

Sales by all the company's divisions rose. Potash sales more than doubled to $538.8 million for the first quarter from $244.4 million for the corresponding quarter, while phosphate sales rose to $245.8 million from $147.1 million. Industrial products (bromine-based products) sales rose to $292.2 million for the first quarter from $210.1 million for the corresponding quarter, and performance products (phosphoric acid-based products) sales rose to $319.3 million from $301.4 million

Israel Chemicals' potash sales nearly quintupled to 1.27 million tons in the first quarter from 299,000 tons in the corresponding quarter. The company said that potash sales are gradually returning to higher production levels. The average price per ton rose to $405 in the first quarter from $380 in the corresponding quarter.

Israel Chemicals will distribute a $668 million dividend on June 14. The balance of the company's profits after the dividend will be $1.78 billion.

Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO) owns 52.4% of Israel Chemicals.Israel Chemicals' share price fell 2.8% in early trading on the TASE today to NIS 42.40, giving a market cap of NIS 55.22 billion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 25, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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