IMC FERTILIZER CAUTIONS SHAREHOLDERS 'WEAK PRICES CLOUD SHORT-TERM OUTLOOK'
IMC FERTILIZER CAUTIONS SHAREHOLDERS 'WEAK PRICES CLOUD SHORT-TERM OUTLOOK' NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. (NYSE: IFL) shareholders at today's annual meeting were told that while fundamentals remain positive for the company, price weaknesses continue to cause short-term uncertainties, Speaking to nearly 200 shareholders and guests at the company's fifth annual meeting, Billie B. Turner, chairman and CEO, said that inadequate prices for major products, especially concentrated phosphates, continue to frustrate his company as well as others in the fertilizer business. "It's clear that our industry has not yet learned how to generate decent prices despite reasonable demand in both domestic and international markets," Turner told shareholders. "Considering the uncertainties confronting the industry today, it would be inappropriate to attempt to project 12-month earnings by simply multiplying IMC Fertilizer's recently announced first quarter results by four." IMC Fertilizer reported earnings of $19.7 million, or 89 cents per share, for the quarter ending Sept. 30. That compares with net earnings of $21.2 million, or 96 cents per share (before a previously announced accounting change.) Turner told shareholders that the coming year will be impacted by a number of factors influencing both domestic and international markets. "Here in the U.S., farmers will harvest a record corn crop. That, in turn, has resulted in a 10 percent set-aside program for corn in 1993, a change that will at best mean a slight decline in fertilizer usage in the U.S. next year." The IMC Fertilizer executive added that the overseas picture remains cloudy for both concentrated phosphates and phosphate rock, and warned of imports of fertilizer products from the former Soviet Union appearing in the U.S. marketplace as those producers seek to generate hard currency. "Of course those products are needed in their own countries, but it will be some time before they sort our their priorities... In the meantime, we'll have to cope." "Longer term, the fundamentals of our business remain compelling," Turner said. "One billion more mouths to feed in the next seven years, and we must grow that additional food on the same amount of land planted to crops today. "More food needed from virtually the same number of acres means more fertilizer, the productivity lever. "Of more immediate importance, we must react to depressed pricing. As the low-cost producer, with plants and mines in mint condition, IMC Fertilizer is positioned second to none to ride out this temporary disruption, and take quick advantage of any turnaround," Turner concluded. Formal Business During today's formal business meeting, held at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Northbrook, shareholders re-elected two directors to terms expiring in 1995, and ratified the appointment of Ernst & Young as independent auditors. The directors re-elected today were Frank W. Considine, honorary chairman, and chairman of the executive committee, and former chairman, president and chief executive officer of American National Can Company, and Richard A. Lenon, retired chairman of IMCERA Group Inc. (when it was known as International Minerals & Chemical Corporation). IMC Fertilizer is one of the world's leading producers and marketers of two basic fertilizer materials, phosphate rock and potash. The company also manufactures concentrated phosphates, and produces sulphur, oil and natural gas. -0- 10/15/92 /CONTACT: Tom Unzicker of IMC Fertilizer, 708-205-4839/ (IFL) CO: IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: SU:
KD-AH -- NY094 -- 0645 10/15/92 16:44 EDT
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|Date:||Oct 15, 1992|
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