The company is closely tied to the booming agricultural sector, which has been aided in part by the increasing global demand for food. The nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers that CF sells help farmers grow more food on their land.
"Fall application of ammonia and phosphates was particularly strong because of increased expected crop plantings, higher application rates, high crop prices, an early harvest and favorable weather in the U.S. Midwest," Chief Executive Stephen Wilson said in a statement.
CF, based in a Chicago suburb, said it expects roughly 92 million acres of corn to be planted this spring, up approximately 4 million acres from 2010.
The company on Thursday posted fourth-quarter net income of $200.3 million, or $2.78 per share, compared with $51.4 million, or $1.04 per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding natural gas derivative gains and other one-time items, the company earned $2.65 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $2.56 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue more than doubled to $1.24 billion. Analysts expected $1.19 billion.
The stock slipped 1.9 percent to $145 per share in after-hours trading. Shares have traded between $57.57 and $153.83 in the past 52 weeks.