ICL Drops as Potash Corp. Cuts Earnings Outlook: Tel Aviv Mover

Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) dropped the most in a week on concerns the fertilizer maker will report lower earnings after competitor Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. cut its forecast for the year.

The shares of the Tel Aviv-based company fell 3.3 percent, the most since July 17, to 35 shekels at 2:52 p.m. in Tel Aviv, extending this year’s decline to 22 percent. Trading volume was more than double the three-month daily average. Controlling holder Israel Corp. (ILCO) dropped 2.7 percent, the most since July 9, to 2,104 shekels. The benchmark TA-25 Index slid 0.7 percent.

Potash Corp. (POT), the world’s largest fertilizer producer by market value, cut its full-year earnings forecast and reported second-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates as prices for its namesake crop nutrient fell. Retail potash prices in the U.S. fell 9.7 percent to $635.34 a metric ton in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Canadian company’s results indicate “weakness in the global potash market in which ICL also operates,” Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Tel Aviv-based Excellence Nessuah Brokerage Ltd., said today by phone. “ICL’s financial performance is also likely to suffer in coming quarters.”

Israel Chemicals is expected to post a 7.4 percent drop in 2013 profit to $1.22 billion, according to the mean estimate of 11 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

The shares have been the worst performer on the benchmark TA-25 (TA-25) index this year after Potash Corp. scrapped a proposed takeover in April and the Israeli government said in June that it will review tax and royalties policies on natural resources. New taxation would mean revising an agreement the government signed last year with ICL that doubled royalties on potash sales to 10 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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