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Mon, Jan. 25, 1:06 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT -6.8%) plunges to 52-week lows as J.P. Morgan analysts say lower nutrient prices likely will prompt management to cut dividend payments.
- "Our base case is that [POT] will reduce it because the dividend was set during a period of cyclical strength and a higher level of earnings and industry structure conditions that does not resemble today’s business landscape," analysts led by Jeffrey Zekauskas write, expecting POT will reduce its annual dividend to $1 from the current $1.52 and downgrading shares to Neutral from Overweight.
- Bernstein analyst Jonas Oxgaard also expects the dividend will be reduced, saying "the fear of [POT] going into financial distress and having bigger problems than paying dividends likely outweighs any reward the company is getting from the dividend at this stage."
- Also: MOS -5.5%, AGU -2%, IPI -3.2%.
Fri, Jan. 22, 11:36 AM
- Potash Corp.'s (POT +1.6%) suspension of production at its Picadilly mine in New Brunswick due to weak market conditions could lead the company to shelve plans to build a new west coast shipping terminal with Canpotex partners Mosaic (MOS -1.8%) and Agrium (AGU +1.6%), POT CEO Jochen Tilk says.
- The decision earlier this week allows Canpotex to "indefinitely defer" a decision on constructing the C$900M Prince Rupert terminal, Tilk told a CIBC investor conference yesterday, saying "We certainly don’t anticipate making that decision in the next 10 years, so we’re very good with our port facilities on the west coast and on the east coast."
- Tilk also said POT’s board would discuss the company’s dividend next week; analysts have speculated that POT will reduce its dividend.
Nov. 24, 2015, 3:11 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT +1.5%) is preparing a new takeover approach for K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY), which likely would come next spring, Reuters reports, citing German investor newsletter Platow Brief.
- POT on Oct. 5 withdrew its €7.9B takeover proposal for K+S, citing the decline in global commodity markets and a lack of engagement by K+S management.
- Also: AGU +1.7%, MOS +1.8%, IPI -1%.
Oct. 30, 2015, 12:58 PM
- News this week included weak results and guidance from Intrepid Potash (IPI -5.4%), Potash (POT -2.8%), Bunge (BG -0.9%).
- Coming next week are earnings from Agrium (AGU -1.6%), Mosaic (MOS -2.1%) and CF Industries (CF +0.5%). While analysts have already sharply reduced estimates for the trio, Jaguar Analytics reminds POT and BG had also already seen big cuts, but still missed expectations and slashed guidance further.
Sep. 21, 2015, 3:32 PM
- Potash (POT -3%) is downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $22 price target at Macquarie, which sees no letup in the multi-year slump in potash prices anytime soon; in fact, the firm thinks the downturn will grow significantly worse.
- The firm foresees an average potash price of just US$254/metric ton next year, down from more than $300 today, citing ongoing weakness in agricultural markets and depreciating currencies in emerging markets.
- Macquarie expects global potash demand to fall by 4.4M metric tons in 2016, and with China sitting on huge potash stocks, the balance of pricing power will shift toward buyers and away from sellers, which could lead to the collapse of the potash contract pricing system.
- Also: AGU -1.5%, MOS -1.6%, IPI -2.5%, SQM -0.9%.
Aug. 4, 2015, 3:22 PM
- Mosaic (MOS +2.8%) continues to maintain solid gains after reporting better than expected Q2 earnings thanks to higher sales of phosphates, which now account for more than half of the company's operating earnings.
- MOS says Q2 net sales of phosphates totaled $1.4B, up from $1.3B the year before, while sales volumes in the segment were 2.8M metric tons, up from 2.6M in the prior-year period; potash net sales were $730M, down from $762M a year earlier, on lower sales volume of 2.3M metric tons vs. 2.5M a year ago.
- Phosphate prices during Q2 fell ~3% Y/Y, while potash prices climbed nearly 5% Y/Y.
- For the full year, MOS sees phosphate sales volumes of 9.5M-10M metric tons, vs. an earlier outlook for 9M-10M metric tons, and potash sales volumes of 8.2M-8.6M metric tons, vs. 8.5M-9M earlier.
- CEO Jim Prokopanko, who steps down from the job tomorrow, says Q2, which includes the spring planting season in North America, showed that farmers are not skimping on fertilizer, and says he expects farmers to behave similarly during the fall fertilizer application period.
- COO Jim O'Rourke, who is taking over for Prokopanko, says the possible takeover of German potash miner K+S by Potash Corp. would make further industry consolidation less likely.
Mar. 30, 2015, 11:58 AM
- The Canpotex North American potash consortium says it has finalized 2015 supply contracts with all of its major customers in China.
- Canpotex says shipments to China will reach at least 1.8M metric tons, up from 1.6M in 2014, and may be as much as 2.5M metric tons, depending on supply, demand and logistics; the group does not release price terms but says the contracts are at "current competitive levels."
- Belarusian Potash said earlier this month it signed a contract with China to sell potash for $315/ton including shipping costs, which was $10 more than last year’s price.
- Canpotex represents Potash Corp. (POT +1.5%), Mosaic (MOS +2.6%) and Agrium (AGU +1.5%).
Mar. 19, 2015, 3:29 PM
- Shares of Potash (POT -4.1%) are sharply lower after the Saskatchewan government announced new tax measures in its budget, which the company warns could cut as much as $100M from its profit this year.
- POT says it is in the middle of a $6B investment in the province, and that any government change in the tax rules at this stage would be unfair to the company.
- Shares also are hurt as China and Belarus agreed to a $10/ton increase to $315/metric ton for H1 China potash shipments, disappointing major producers that had been publicly aiming for up to a 10% increase.
- Also: AGU -3.2%, MOS -2.1%, SQM -3.9%, IPI -5.2%.
Feb. 11, 2015, 9:09 AM
- Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) +1.4% premarket after Q4 earnings more than doubled on higher phosphate and potash sales in anticipation of the spring season.
- MOS expects strong demand to continue, as issues upbeat guidance for volumes of phosphate, its biggest revenue driver; for the current quarter, MOS projects phosphate volumes of 2.8M-3.1M tons vs. 2.7M tons in the year-ago quarter.
- Q4 phosphate sales rose 4% Y/Y to $1.6B, reflecting lower volume but higher finished-product prices; phosphate sales volumes totaled 3.3M tons, beating the company's expected range of 2.5M-2.8M tons.
- Q4 potash sales told the opposite story of higher volume and lower prices, rising 17% Y/Y to $763M; potash sales volumes totaled 2.3M tons, on the high end of the company's projection of 2M-2.3M tons.
- For the current quarter, MOS again expects potash sales volumes of 2M-2.3M tons, down from 2.4M tons last year.
Dec. 19, 2014, 2:54 PM
- Potash (POT +1.9%) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a $40 price target, up from $38, at UBS, citing the company's strong dividend and improving free cash flow.
- UBS says the planned closure of Mosaic's Carlsbad operations in Jan. 2015 and the current flood at Uralkali's Solikamsk-2 mine could remove 2.4M -3.4M metric tons of combined capacity from the market and provides an opportunity for POT to gain more volumes, which also could lead to higher pricing.
- POT’s dividend yields ~4%, and UBS believes it provides downside protection given that the dividend can be funded even if potash prices remain flat; the firm thinks that over time POT may be able to return excess cash to shareholders through an increased dividend or further share repurchases.
- Other potash producers are higher: MOS +2%, AGU +0.4%, IPI +2.6%.
Nov. 26, 2014, 12:11 PM
- Potash producers Agrium (AGU -2.6%), Potash Corp. (POT -0.3%), Mosaic (MOS -0.2%), CF Industries (CF -1.3%) and Intrepid Potash (IPI -1.1%) continue to give back the gains that followed Uralkali’s mine suspension, and BofA Merrill's downgrade of AGU hasn't helped.
- While BofA remains positive on earnings from nitrogen, it believes potash is oversupplied and global demand growth could regress from 2014's ~11% pace.
- But Stifel analysts are not throwing in the towel on the potash producers, citing potash supply constraints from declining North American producer inventories as well as the potential for the permanent closure of the Russian mine offsetting the negative impact of potentially lower North American planted corn acreage.
Nov. 24, 2014, 7:45 AM
- Uralkali (OTC:URALL) is preparing to restart operations at half of its potash mine in Russia where work was halted last week after an accident, CEO Dmitry Osipov says.
- The governor of the Perm region where the Solikamsk-2 mine is located says the inflow of water at the mine had "practically stopped" and there is no danger to residents of the area, where a large sinkhole has formed.
- POT -2.6% premarket; also watch MOS, AGU, IPI.
Nov. 19, 2014, 3:58 PM
- Potash (POT +1.2%) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with a $40 price target, up from $38.50, at Raymond James after troubles at a mine owned by Russia’s Uralkali forced its closure; in the event Uralkali’s capacity remains handicapped, the firm thinks POT could benefit from a tighter potash market.
- Fertilizer peer Mosaic (MOS +1.7%) is upgraded to Positive by Susquehanna, which believes its potash operating leverage is underappreciated by investors, as the shares went up less than POT yesterday in response to the Uralkali news even as MOS has more relative earnings leverage to an improvement in potash prices than POT.
- Earlier: CF Industries upgraded at Credit Suisse, which sees better industry position
Nov. 19, 2014, 9:55 AM
- A sinkhole is found near Uralkali's (OTC:URALL) Solikamsk-2 potash mine in Russia, where work was suspended yesterday after a water inflow.
- Uralkali does not know how seriously the mine at Solikamsk-2, which accounts for 20% of the company's capacity, would be affected, but a water inflow and resulting sinkhole in 2006 shut another Uralkali mine in the same region permanently.
- North American potash producer shares jumped 2%-5% yesterday, and are up early again today: POT +2.5%, MOS +2.4%, AGU +0.7%, IPI +2.3%.
Nov. 18, 2014, 11:25 AM
- Uralkali (OTC:URALL) shares fell by the most in a year after the potash miner suspended operations and evacuated workers from a potash mine in Russia’s Perm region because of an increase in brine inflow.
- The world’s biggest potash producer says it is monitoring the situation at the Solikamsk-2 mine, while its four other mines continue to operate normally.
- Uralkali's misfortune is sparking gains in North American potash producers: POT +5.1%, MOS +3.4%, AGU +3.4%, IPI +5%.
Oct. 2, 2014, 2:59 PM
- Fertilizer producers are mostly lower after Agrium (AGU -1.9%) announced weak guidance for H2 of its FY 2014: POT -2%, MOS -0.9%, OTCPK:YARIY -2.8%, IPI -2.3%, RNF -1.2%, but CF +2.4%.
- Canaccord and Piper Jaffray downwardly revised their 12-month price targets for the stock, by a respective 1.9% to $102 while reiterating a Buy rating and by 4.2% to $92 while maintaining a Neutral rating; however, BMO and RBC each reiterated their Outperform ratings on the stock with respective target prices of $99 and $115.
- Jim Cramer thinks AGU's woes could reverberate throughout the ag sector, at least in the near-term, with selling possibly spread to the likes of Monsanto (MON -0.4%), Syngenta (SYT +0.1%), Deere (DE +0.1%) and Agco (AGCO +1%).
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