IPL 0.32% $3.16 incitec pivot limited

ipl profit raised on rising fertilizer prices

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    Incitec Profit Estimate Raised on Fertilizer Price at ABN Amro

    By Madelene Pearson

    Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Incitec Pivot Ltd., Australia's largest fertilizer maker, had its profit estimates for 2008 and 2009 raised for a second time in two months by ABN Amro Morgans Ltd. on higher fertilizer prices.

    Profit, excluding one-time items, may be A$413.8 million ($384 million) in fiscal 2008, 25 percent more than an earlier forecast, the bank said in a note to clients yesterday. The estimate compares with the A$412 million average of 10 analysts complied by Bloomberg and net income of A$205 million in 2007.

    Incitec is the best performer on the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index in the past three months after fertilizer prices soared to records. Prices have more than doubled in the past 12 months on tight supply, according to ABN Amro. The bank is the third-most accurate predictor of Incitec's share price of 10 analyst estimates, according to Bloomberg data.

    ``The industry outlook and macro environment continue to point to high fertilizer prices in the short and medium term,'' ABN said in the note. ``Fertilizer demand remains high, well supported by record soft commodity prices.''

    Incitec, based in Melbourne, rose as much as A$6.59, or 4.5 percent, to record A$153.80, and traded at A$149.83 at 10:51 a.m. in Sydney on the Australian Stock Exchange.

    ABN Amro also raised its profit forecast for fiscal 2009 by 23 percent to A$420.3 million and its price target for the stock to A$169.47. The bank previously raised its estimates in December.
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