February 13, 2020 / 7:46 AM / 15 days ago

Israel Chemicals Q4 profit meets estimates, sales dip on plant shutdown

TEL AVIV, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Israel Chemicals (ICL) reported higher quarterly earnings that met estimates, while sales slipped due to a nearly one-month planned shutdown and upgrade of the company’s Dead Sea facilities.

ICL said on Thursday it earned 4 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter excluding one-time items, up from 1 cent a year earlier. Sales declined to $1.1 billion from $1.4 billion.

ICL’s results were also negatively impacted by the continued delay in the signing of a potash supply agreement in China and the weak commodity fertilizer market environment.

Analysts on average forecast adjusted EPS of 4 cents on sales of $1.1 billion, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

ICL extended its policy of returning up to 50% of adjusted net income to shareholders through dividends. Dividends for 2019 amounted to $0.18 per share, similar to 2018.

The company declared a quarterly dividend of 1.8 cents per share. (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer)

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