October 31, 2019 / 10:14 AM / 22 days ago

Corteva signals hit from delayed planting in Brazil, slowing China

(Reuters) - Corteva Inc (CTVA.N) said on Thursday demand for grains and oilseeds could be hit by a delayed soybean planting in Brazil and cooling growth in China and emerging economies, sending its shares down 8%.

FILE PHOTO: The logo for Corteva Agriscience, a former division of DowDuPont, is displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Persistent dry weather has pushed out soybean planting and the use of crop protection products in Brazil, the world’s top exporter of the oilseed, while purchases by top buyer China have been erratic due to Beijing’s trade war with Washington, which has also hit growth at the world’s second-largest economy.

“Coupled with production disruptions and delays, recent softening in the Chinese economy, African swine fever and slower growth in other emerging markets are impacting the demand outlook for commodity grains and oilseeds,” Chief Executive Officer James Collins said on a post earnings call.

The downbeat comments overshadowed a smaller-than-expected third quarter loss that was fueled by higher U.S. seed sales after historic floods in the Midwest delayed the spring planting season.

Corteva also said it now expects full-year core earnings at the bottom end of its prior forecast of $1.9 billion to $2.05 billion, largely due to a weaker Brazilian real.

The former agricultural unit of DowDuPont also tightened its 2019 operating earnings per share forecast to between $1.20 and $1.26 from an earlier estimate of $1.06 to $1.31.

Net loss attributable to Corteva fell to $494 million, or 66 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $5.12 billion, or $6.83 per share. The year earlier period included a $4.5 billion goodwill impairment charge.

Excluding items, it posted a loss of 39 cents per share, lower than the 46 cents loss that analysts estimated, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net sales fell 2% to $1.91 billion, primarily due to weaker Brazilian real and euro, while organic sales stayed flat.

Analysts on average had estimated revenue of about $2 billion.

Total volumes increased 3%, while local prices declined 3% in the quarter.

Separately, Corteva said it would invest $145 million in its Midland, Michigan manufacturing plant to produce 30% more Spinosyns used to make insecticides.

Shares of the company were down 5.1% at $26.08.

Reporting by Nishara Karuvalli Pathikkal and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila

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