CF Industries Holdings Earnings: Gross Margins Grew Nineteen Percentage Points

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) reported its results for the first quarter. CF Industries Holdings Inc is a manufacturer and distributor of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products, including ammonia, urea, urea ammonium nitrate solution, diammonium phosphate and monoammonium phosphate.

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CF Industries Holdings Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Swung to a profit of $282 million ($3.91/diluted share) in the quarter. The agricultural chemicals company had a net loss of $4.4 million or a loss of 9 cents per share in the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose more than twofold to $1.17 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: CF beat the mean analyst estimate of $3.18/share. Estimates ranged from $2.42 per share to $4.19 per share.

Quoting Management: “We entered the year with lean inventories,” said Stephen R. Wilson, chairman and chief executive officer, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. “We are pleased that excellent plant performance allowed us to deliver good sales results in the first quarter and to position inventories for the spring selling season.”

Key Stats:

Gross margins grew 19 percentage points to 44.7%. The growth seemed to be driven by increased revenue, as the figure rose more than twofold from the year earlier quarter while costs rose 73.8%.

Over the last five quarters, revenue has increased 79.4% on average year over year. The biggest increase came in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, when revenue rose more than twofold from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: The Mosaic Company (NYSE:MOS), Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU), Terra Nitrogen Co., L.P. (NYSE:TNH), Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT), Converted Organics Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN), The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. (NYSE:SMG), LSB Industries, Inc. (NYSE:LXU), China Green Agriculture, Inc (NYSE:CGA), China Agritech Inc. (NASDAQ:CAGC), and Bodisen Biotech, Inc. (BBCZ)

Stock Performance: Shares of CF are up 3.6% from the previous closing price of $130.31.

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