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Nutrien reports $40M in cost savings as it looks to $500M target

Saskatoon-based Nutrien says it has already achieved $40 million it cost savings since the merger between Agrium and PotashCorp. Supplied

Fertilizer giant Nutrien Ltd. said it has achieved US$40 million in cost-savings since being created from a merger of PotashCorp and Agrium Inc. at the start of the year.

Company CEO Chuck Magro said the company is focused on achieving half a billion dollars in annual synergies with the combined company by the end of 2019.

READ MORE: Nutrien to sell Israel Chemical stake for expected US$700M

The Saskatoon-based company said in its first results since combining that it expects earnings of between US$3.2 billion and US$3.7 billion this year before some deductions, and earnings per share of between US$2.10 and US$2.60.

For the fourth quarter of 2017, the last before the merger, Agrium pulled in net earnings of US$18 million compared with US$67 million for the same quarter in 2016.

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Potash Corp. saw a net loss of US$76 million for the fourth quarter last year, compared with earnings of US$46 million for the same quarter a year earlier.

Nutrien sold its stake in Israel Chemicals Ltd. last month for US$685 million to appease regulators and says it expects to pull in more cash from the ongoing sale of equity positions that it will reinvest in its business and return to shareholders.