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Thu, Jan. 28, 5:31 PM
- Potash Corp.’s (NYSE:POT) decision to cut its dividend for the first time gives the company more flexibility to pursue acquisitions and other options including share buybacks, CEO Jochen Tilk said in today's earnings conference call.
- One of the opportunities also could include adding a new project that would generate a “great return," Tilk said, adding that POT continues to evaluate its minority stakes in rival producers including Israel Chemicals (NYSE:ICL) and SQM but has ended its pursuit of K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY).
- "The real story is how poor 2016 guidance is due to weak potash fundamentals and a 34% dividend cut may not be deep enough," BMO analyst Joel Jackson says.
Thu, Jan. 28, 8:21 AM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) -4.1% premarket after reporting weaker than expected Q4 earnings and cutting its quarterly dividend, hurt by weakening fertilizer prices.
- POT is slashing its dividend payout by 34% Y/Y to $0.25/share from $0.38/share, the first cut since the company’s IPO in 1989.
- "Weaker fertilizer prices late in the year reduced our earnings for the quarter, giving rise to a more cautious outlook for all three nutrients as we begin 2016," POT says.
- POT says Q4 potash sales volumes fell 31% Y/Y, while its average realized potash price fell to $238/metric ton from $284 a year earlier; it sees 2016 potash sales volumes of 8.3M-9.1M metric tons.
- Despite falling prices, POT sees global potash demand of 59M-62M metric tons in 2016, in-line with 2015; POT also produces nitrogen and phosphate.
- POT issues downside earnings guidance for Q1, seeing EPS of $0.10-$0.20 vs. $0.29 analysts consensus estimate, and for FY 2016, expecting EPS of $0.90-$1.20 vs. $1.45 consensus.
- Earlier: Potash Corp. -7% on speculation over dividend cut (Jan. 25)
Thu, Jan. 28, 6:09 AM
Wed, Jan. 27, 5:30 PM
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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.
Thu, Jan. 21, 7:07 PM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) is suing the engineering company that built part of its $2.2B Picadilly mine in New Brunswick, alleging that construction flaws have caused the "complete failure” of a mine shaft.
- The timing of the lawsuit is noteworthy, since POT said on Tuesday it is halting production in New Brunswick and laying off up to 430 workers; POT says the shutdown is simply a response to the weak potash market, and that the filing of the lawsuit and the production suspension is a coincidence.
- But Financial Post points out that if the allegations are correct, the mine had massive structural damage, was poised for even more problems when the company halted production, and would have required a massive capital investment on top of the $2B already spent to get it into production.
Tue, Jan. 19, 7:58 AM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) says it is indefinitely suspending potash mining at its Picadilly operations in New Brunswick, in response to weakening demand.
- POT says the suspension will lead to 420-430 job cuts in New Brunswick; the company's total global workforce at year-end 2014.
- POT says the move will eliminate spending of $50M in 2016 and $135M in 2017-18; ~$35M in costs associated with the suspension of operations will be reflected in Q1 earnings.
Tue, Jan. 5, 5:49 PM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) should consider a takeover of Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI), Scotiabank's Ben Issacson believes, but not for another 9-12 months due to antitrust concerns; once the Legacy project in Saskatchewan has ramped up, POT should be able to show regulators that potash supply to the U.S. is more diverse than it is now, the analyst says.
- Isaacson thinks POT could offer a ~50% premium to IPI's recent trading range, which would mean it is buying capacity at a 40%-plus discount to what it previously offered K+S.
- The analyst also believes POT and Israel Chemicals (NYSE:ICL) are top candidates to pursue fertilizer producer SQM; for POT, "consolidation via Intrepid or diversification via SQM both achieve a similar objective: managing exposure to the potash market," Isaacson says.
Dec. 16, 2015, 3:39 PM
- Earnings estimates for Agrium (AGU +0.9%) and Potash Corp. (POT +2.9%) are trimmed by 10%-13% for 2016 and 2017 at Macquarie, which expects agricultural commodities to continue to suffer from oversupply and weak demand in 2016.
- Macquarie anticipates that the poor economic health of farmers around the world will lead to limited consumption of nitrogen fertilizers and a sharp pullback for potash.
- The firm also cuts its stock price target for the companies, to $95 from $105 for AGU and to $17 from $21 at POT.
Dec. 7, 2015, 2:37 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT -2.7%) is lower after BofA analyst Steve Byrne reinstated coverage of the stock with an Underperform rating and $20 price target, expecting increased capex in the potash industry over the last decade to depress operating rates in the next couple of years.
- Increased capacity due to the incentivization of brownfield expansion and the current favorable production price of potash coupled with the weakening outlook in farm income levels may all influence potash price discipline, Byrne believes.
- If potash prices fall towards the marginal cost of $200/metric ton, Byrne thinks market forces could push prices even lower to encourage global capacity reduction; in such an environment, POT would be able to maintain its dividend only if it meaningfully cut capex or increased production rates.
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%.
Nov. 11, 2015, 5:48 PM
- Potash (NYSE:POT) declares $0.38/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
- Forward yield 7.63%
- Payable Feb. 4; for shareholders of record Jan. 14; ex-div Jan. 12.
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.
Oct. 29, 2015, 8:45 AM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) -1.4% premarket after cutting its full-year earnings guidance below consensus, as it expects to sell less potash than expected due to weak demand and prices (Q3 earnings).
- POT lowers its FY 2015 EPS forecast to $1.55-$1.65, below the $1.74 analyst consensus estimate, from an earlier outlook for $1.75-$1.95; it also lowers sales volume guidance to 9M-9.2M metric tons from 9.3M-9.6M metric tons, and now expects potash gross margin of $1.4B-$1.5B.
- The company sees potash demand falling in Latin America from last year’s record level because of currency volatility, and the same factor is behind its reduced forecast for Indian demand; shipments also are expected to be lower in North America.
- POT says it will take temporary inventory shutdowns at three of its mines in Saskatchewan this December, and accelerate the permanent closing of its Penobsquis mine in New Brunswick, reducing production in the current quarter by almost 500K metric tons.
- POT says the average realized potash price fell 11% Y/Y to $250/metric ton in Q3, while nitrogen prices fell 10.4% to $319/metric ton; phosphate rose 9% to $475/metric ton.
Oct. 29, 2015, 6:03 AM
- Potash (NYSE:POT): Q3 EPS of $0.37 in-line.
- Revenue of $1.53B (-6.7% Y/Y) beats by $80M.
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