The Federal Reserve guaranteed super-low interest rates for two more years Tuesday -- an unprecedented step to arrest the alarming decline of the stock market and the economy. Wall Street roared its approval and finished a wild day with a 429-point gain. Some analysts also attributed the late-day rally to wording in the Fed's statement suggesting it might take further steps to stimulate the economy in the future. This bodes well for stocks.
The following seven agricultural stocks were steeply sold off based on the S&P downgrade and European contagion risk along with everything else. Ironically, neither of these events has altered the underlying dynamics rousing the unbelievable run in these names. Additionally, the stocks are trading well below consensus analysts’ estimates and have improving financial results; several have recent upgrades and positive analyst comments.
With depressed yields of major agricultural crops leading to tight inventory levels, seemingly snowballing inflation, and the exponential growth in population and the burgeoning emerging middle classes of India and China, the soft commodities bull case remains intact. Additionally, according to the chartist, the current correction was healthy technically.
In summary, with the S&P downgrade fervor calming and the Fed’s new stock market put, these stocks may be ready to resume their extraordinary ascent based on the same macroeconomic and fundamental catalysts that spurred on their market outperformance prior to the recent selloff. By Bernanke stating the rates will remain unchanged until mid-2013, he has let investors know the only way to make money for the next two years is in the stock market. I believe these seven stocks have been unjustly oversold and have significant upside potential.
Below is a brief description of each company or ETF, a summary of current analysts' estimates and up/downgrade activity followed by a chart of the company's key statistics. Please use this as a starting point for your own due diligence.
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MarketVectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO): The investment seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the DAX global Agribusiness index. MOO’s top holdings are Monsanto (MON), Potash (POT), Mosaic (MOS), Deere & Co. (DE) and Singapore-traded Wilmar International (WLMIF.PK). Please review illustration below for MOO’s summary and key statistics.
The Mosaic Company is a producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients for the global agriculture industry. The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Mosaic has a median price target of $85 by 12 brokers and a high target of $102. The last up/downgrade activity was on Aug. 18, 2010, when Standpoint Research downgraded the company from Buy to Hold.
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Potash has a median price target of $68.16 by 21 brokers and a high target of $76. The last up/downgrade activity was on Jan. 4, when Boenning & Scattergood initiated coverage on the company with an Outperform rating.
Monsanto, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers in the United States and internationally. The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Monsanto has a median price target of $80 by 17 brokers and a high target of $100. The last up/downgrade activity was on Apr. 11, when Deutsche Bank upgraded the company from Hold to Buy.
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) procures, transports, stores, processes, and merchandises agricultural commodities and products in the United States and internationally. The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Archer Daniels Midland has a median price target of $35.50 by 14 brokers and a high target of $45. The last up/downgrade activity was on Aug. 8, when Standpoint Research upgraded the company from Hold to Buy.
Syngenta AG (SYT), an agribusiness company, engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of products designed to enhance crop yields and food quality worldwide. The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Syngenta has a median price target of $64 by three brokers and a high target of $70. The last up/downgrade activity was on Feb. 11, when HSBC Securities downgraded the company from Overweight to Neutral.
Deere & Company provides products and services primarily for agriculture and forestry worldwide. The company is trading significantly below analysts' estimates. Deere has a median price target of $109 by 13 brokers and a high target of $116. The last up/downgrade activity was on Nov. 19, 2010, when UBS upgraded the company from Neutral to Buy.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.