Viterra shares stumble after disappointing Q4

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reuters / Shares of Viterra fell more than seven per cent Jan. 19 before recovering slightly, a day after Canada’s biggest grain handler reported disappointing quarterly results.

Viterra reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings of three cents a share, although revenue of $3.1 billion topped expectations.

It’s “definitely disappointing” that Viterra missed expectations by a material amount after CEO Mayo Schmidt told Reuters in a Jan. 11 interview that he expected a strong quarter, said PI Financial Corp analyst Jason Zandberg.

For the year, Viterra’s profit jumped 83 per cent to $265 million. The company also boosted its semi-annual dividend by 50 per cent to signal confidence in its future prospects.

Viterra said earlier that global grain supply and demand fundamentals look strong for 2012 and that the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly this year will add to its bottom line.

“As far as the positive outlook, the price of wheat will probably dictate farmers’ appetite to spend on farm inputs and so far it’s been weak in 2012,” Zandberg said.

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