Agrium Updates Fourth Quarter Earnings Estimate

Agrium Updates Fourth Quarter Earnings Estimate 
CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/24/13 -- ALL AMOUNTS ARE
STATED IN US$ 
Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) (NYSE:AGU) announced today that it expects its
2012 fourth quarter earnings to be slightly above $2.00(1) per
diluted share. This estimate excludes hedging gains or losses,
share-based payments recovery for the fourth quarter and
non-recurring non-operating gains. Agrium's previously announced
fourth quarter earnings guidance was $1.50 to $1.90 per diluted share
on a comparable basis. 
Our Retail business unit is expected to generate over $120-million of
EBITDA(2) or the fourth quarter which equates to an expected record
year of approximately $950-million of EBITDA in 2012. Our Wholesale
business also continued to generate better than expected results with
EBITDA for the fourth quarter and year anticipated to exceed
$500-million and $1.9-billion respectively.  
"The increase in our estimated financial results is due to a very
strong finish to the fall application season in our North American
Retail operations, supported by an extended fall season in the U.S.
and continued strength in grain and oilseed prices. Going forward,
continued strength in crop prices and low global grain inventories
are anticipated to support a strong spring application season in
2013," said Mike Wilson, Agrium President and CEO.  
Our finalized fourth quarter financial statements and audited annual
financial results along with a more detailed review of operations and
the outlook for our business will be provided on February 22, 2013. 
The major assumptions made in updating our fourth quarter guidance
are outlined below and include but are not limited to: 


 
--  The consolidated income tax rate approximating 29 percent for the fourth
    quarter 
--  The exclusion from the guidance range of the effects in the fourth
    quarter of: 
    --  Share-based payments 
    --  Gains or losses on hedge positions 
    --  Non-recurring non-operating gains 
 
(1) Earnings are subject to completion of quarterly financial close         
    processes and approval of the 2012 audited financial statements by      
    Agrium's Board of Directors.                                            
(2) EBITDA, a non-IFRS measure, is defined as earnings from continuing      
    operations before finance costs, income taxes, depreciation and         
    amortization. EBITDA does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS  
    and our method of calculation for such measure may not be comparable    
    with that of other companies. We consider EBITDA to be a useful measure 
    of performance because income tax jurisdictions and business segments   
    are not synonymous and we believe that allocation of income tax charges 
    distorts the comparability of performance for our different business    
    segments. Similarly, financing and related interest charges cannot be   
    allocated to all business units on a basis that is meaningful for       
    comparison with other companies.                                        

 
About Agrium 
Agrium Inc. is a major Retail supplier of agricultural products and
services in North America, South America and Australia and a leading
global Wholesale producer and marketer of all three major
agricultural nutrients and the premier supplier of specialty
fertilizers in North America through our Advanced Technologies
business unit. Agrium's strategy is to grow across the value chain
through acquisition, incremental expansion of its existing operations
and through the development, commercialization and marketing of new
products and international opportunities. Our strategy places
particular emphasis on growth opportunities that both increase and
stabilize our earnings profile in the continuing transformation of
Agrium. 
Forward-Looking Statements 
Certain statements and other information included in this press
release constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning
of applicable Canadian securities legislation or constitute
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable U.S.
securities legislation (collectively, the "forward-looking
statements"). All statements in this press release, other than those
relating to historical information or current conditions, are
forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements
as to management's expectations with respect to: our fourth quarter
consolidated earnings excluding certain adjustments, our fourth
quarter and full year 2012 EBITDA for our Retail and Wholesale
business units, strength in future crop prices, low global grain
inventories and a strong spring application season in 2013. These
forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and
uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could
cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking
statements. The purpose of the revised guidance included in this
press release is to assist investors in understanding our expected
financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012 and this information
may not be appropriate for other purposes. 
All of the forward-looking statements are qualified by the
assumptions that are stated or inherent in such forward-looking
statements, including the assumptions described above in respect of
our revised fourth quarter 2012 guidance and others listed below.
Although Agrium believes that these assumptions are reasonable, this
list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the
forward-looking statements and the reader should not place an undue
reliance on these assumptions and such forward-looking statements.
The key assumptions that have been made in connection with the
forward-looking statements include Agrium's ability to successfully
integrate and realize the anticipated benefits of its already
completed and future acquisitions, including the proposed acquisition
of the Agri-products Business of Viterra.  
Events or circumstances that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but
are not limited to: general economic, market and business conditions,
weather conditions including impacts from regional flooding and/or
drought conditions; crop prices; the supply and demand and price
levels for our major products; governmental and regulatory
requirements and actions by governmental authorities, including
changes in government policy, government ownership requirements,
changes in environmental, tax and other laws or regulations and the
interpretation thereof, and political risks, including civil unrest,
actions by armed groups or conflict, as well as counterparty and
sovereign risk; and other risk factors detailed from time to time in
Agrium reports filed with the Canadian securities regulators and the
Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States. 
Agrium disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statements in this press release as a result of new
information or future events, except as may be required under
applicable U.S. federal securities laws or applicable Canadian
securities legislation. 
Contacts:
Agrium Inc.
Richard Downey
Vice President, Investor/Corporate Relations
(403) 225-7357 
Agrium Inc.
Todd Coakwell
Director, Investor Relations
(403) 225-7437 
Agrium Inc.
Mark Thompson
Analyst, Investor Relations
(403) 225-7761