FMC Corp. (FMC) Rises as First Quarter Earnings Exceed Estimates

Shares of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, based FMC Corporation (FMC) rose on Tuesday, against the backdrop of a lower day in stocks overall. FMC's stock was up 8.48%, rising $3.70 per share, to close at $47.32, on volume of 4,246,420 shares. On Tuesday, the company reported a net profit for the first quarter, compared to a net loss for the first quarter one year earlier. The earnings reported exceeded analysts expectations.

Founded in 1883, FMC Corp. is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, consumer and industrial markets worldwide with solutions, applications and market leading products.
The company operates its business through its Agricultural Solutions, Health and Nutrition and Minerals segments. The Agricultural Solutions segment is by far the largest, and mostly provides meeting the crop protection needs of food and fiber producers globally. The company employees about 6,000 people worldwide, and its stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

On Tuesday, FMC discloses consolidated adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.36. This was a dramatic turnaround from the $-0.35 loss per diluted share reported for the first quarter 2015. The company reported adjusted earnings of $0.58 per diluted share, excluding various restructuring charges. However, this was higher than analysts expectations of $0.52 per diluted share. In addition, the company reported a net income of $48.3 million for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $-46.8 million for the same quarter one year earlier. Meanwhile, first-quarter gross revenue was reported at $799 million, 21% higher than the $659 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Of particular interest was the increase attributed to the Agricultural Solutions segment. For the first quarter, FMC announced revenue for the segment of $546 million. This totals 39% higher than the $392 million provided by the segment in the first quarter of 2015. However, the contribution to net earnings came in flat at $82 million, compared to $81.8 million for the first quarter of 2015.

FMC's Lithium segment also showed solid improvement. Segment revenue for the quarter was $60 million, representing an 8% increase from the same period a year earlier. The segment is now projected to produce earnings of between $43 million and $53 million for the full year, which is more than double the segment’s contribution in 2015.

As a result of the higher first-quarter earnings, the company increased its full-year guidance for 2016 by five cents, to between $2.55 and $2.85 per share. This represents an increase of 9% (at the mid-point) compared to 2015 adjusted earnings of $2.47 per share.

"We are pleased to have achieved adjusted EPS towards the higher end of our first quarter guidance range and to increase our full-year adjusted EPS guidance by five cents'" said Pierre Brondeau, FMC president, CEO and chairman. "With Ag Solutions and Health and Nutrition delivering earnings in line with guidance, it was the outperformance by Lithium that drove this strong result and the guidance increase. We came into 2016 expecting challenging agricultural market conditions, particularly in the Americas, and so far these expectations are proving to be accurate. However, the actions we continue to take in managing the business leave us confident in our full-year outlook for Agricultural Solutions."

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Published on May 4, 2016
By Kevin Mercadante

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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