(By Balachander) Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS) posted a 22 percent drop in quarterly earnings due to lower prices in phosphates and the company doubled its annual dividend.
Earnings were $507 million or $1.19 per share for the fourth quarter, down from $649 million or $1.45 per share in the comparable period of last year.
Net sales were nearly flat at $2.8 billion.
Gross margin as percentage of net sales contracted to 30 percent from 35 percent a year ago.
For the first quarter, the company expects gross margin to be flat with the fourth quarter.
Mosaic approved an annual dividend plan of $1.00 per share, up 100 percent from $0.50 per share currently, and 400 percent from the year-ago level.
The stock, which has been trading between $44.43 and $74.31 over the past year, closed Monday's regular trading at $55.37.