(Adds background, forecast, details)
Feb 15 U.S. nitrogen fertilizer producer CF
Industries Holdings Inc reported a bigger-than-expected
loss, but said it expects prices in North America to improve
through the first half of the year.
The company's shares were down 9 percent in after-market
trading on Wednesday.
Fertilizer prices plunged last year amid declining U.S. farm
incomes and excess global supply.
The average selling price for ammonia fell about 40 percent
to $277 per ton in the fourth quarter, while that of urea fell
22 percent to $214 per ton, CF said.
CF's quarterly loss totaled $320 million, or $1.38 per
share, compared with a profit of $27 million, or 11 cents per
share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 39 cents per
share. Analysts had expected a smaller loss of 5 cents per
The Deerfield, Illinois-based company's net sales fell 22
percent to $867 million.
(Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel
and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)