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Syngenta posts larger-than-expected 12% drop in Q3 sales

Brazil's slowdown hits the agricultural company's quarterly results.

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Syngenta warns a recession in Latin America and a strong dollar may hit 2015 earnings.

Syngenta AG (NYSE:SYT), an agricultural chemicals maker, posted a larger-than-expected 12% decline in sales for the third quarter, hurt by the weak currency in Brazil, its second-largest market.

Sales in the July-to-September quarter retreated to $2.62bn from $2.98bn a year earlier, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a statement on Thursday.

The result fell short of the analyst forecast of $2.71bn.

Syngenta also warned that the recession in Latin America and the strong U.S. dollar may weaken its 2015 earnings.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization that aren’t stripped of currency fluctuations will likely show a “mid-single digit decline,” compared to a previous prediction for it to remain at the 2014 level, Syngenta said in the statement.

Brazil's real touched a record low last month, hit by a political crisis coupled with an economy in slowdown.

ADRs of Syngenta rose 1% to $63.58 at 10:44 a.m. in New York, erasing an earlier loss.

Syngenta was recently the target of U.S. competitor Monsanto (NYSE:MON). The St. Louis-based Monsanto tried to acquire Syngenta in a cash and share deal that valued the Swiss company at around $45bn.

Syngenta's management turned down the deal, saying it undervalued the company.

Quick facts: Syngenta AG (ADR)

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