Shares of fertilizer maker The Mosaic Co. slid 7% to a six-month low Tuesday, after the company reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the first quarter. Mosaic said it had a net loss of $1 million, or breakeven on a per-share basis, in the quarter, after earnings of $257 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales fell to $1.58 billion from $1.67 billion as lower prices offset higher volumes. "Mosaic's performance in the first quarter was not up to our expectations and was negatively impacted by unusual factors," CFO Rich Mack said in a statement. These included mechanical failure at the Esterhazy K1 potash mine in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, an ammonia plant outage, heavy rainfall at Miski Mayo in Peru, and rail and other logistical issues at Canoptex, a Canadian potash operation Mosaic owns with partners, he said. "We expect to see higher realized potash and phosphate prices in the second quarter, which should meaningfully improve earnings for Mosaic," said Mack. Shares are now down 15% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.7%.
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