Nov. 18, 2013, 4:12 AM
- Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov - owner of the Brooklyn Nets - has agreed to acquire a 21.75% stake in Uralkali (URALL), the world's biggest potash miner, from the company's main owner, Dagestani tycoon Suleyman Kerimov.
- Kerimov and his partners own a third of Uralkali, while China Investment Corp, China's sovereign wealth fund, purchased a 12.5% holding in September.
- Uralkali caused turmoil in the potash markets after it ended its joint venture with Belarusian state-owned miner Belaruskali in July. The JV, called Belarusian Potash Co, controlled around 40% of the global market and so had a major influences on prices.
- Following the breakup, Belarus arrested Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner in August, since when he has been in jail or under house arrest. (Previous)
- Related tickers: POT, MOS, AGU, SQM, IPI.
- Related ETFs: MOO, CROP, PAGG, VEGI.
Nov. 15, 2013, 9:40 AM
- Suleiman Kerimov and his business partners, who jointly control ~33% of potash maker Uralkali (URALL), may reach an agreement to sell the stake as soon as next week, Bloomberg reports.
- Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Group is the front-runner to take control, according to the report; the stake has a value of ~$5B.
- POT +1%, MOS +0.8%, AGU +0.3%, SQM +0.2%, IPI +0.2%.
- ETFs: MOO, CROP, PAGG, VEGI.
Nov. 14, 2013, 10:28 AM
- Markel's (MKL) Tom Gayner added five new stocks to the company portfolio in the last quarter, and he likes fertilizers and private equity, buying 150K shares of Mosaic (MOS) and 70K shares of Potash (POT), 100K shares of Apollo Global (APO), 105K shares of Apollo Group (APOL), and 10K shares of Copart (CPRT). In addition to the Apollo Global purchase, he greatly boosted stakes in KKR, Blackstone (BX), and Carlyle Group (CG).
- He completely sold out of positions in Quaterra Resources (QMM) and Union First Market Bankshares (UBSH).
- CarMax (KMX) remains his portfolio's top holding at 8.4%, but Gayner did cut his stake by 1.46%.
Nov. 7, 2013, 6:14 PM
- Mosaic (MOS +1.3%) raises $2B in bond sales as a company restriction on share buybacks/dividends is set to expire on Nov. 26. The freeze was placed back in the 2004 merger that created the company.
- The company sold $900M of 4.25% bonds due in 2023, $500M of 5.45% bonds due in 2033, and $600M of 5.625% bonds due in 2043.
- Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, share buybacks, and/or dividends.
Nov. 5, 2013, 3:15 PM
- North American demand for fertilizers looks strong for the rest of 2013 but pricing might prove challenging in 2014, Mosaic (MOS -1.8%) CEO Jim Prokopanko said in the conference call after reporting sharply lower Q3 earnings.
- With potash prices weak, MOS might curtail production at its high-cost Carlsbad, N.M., mine, depending on where prices move, but also may be interested in buying other North American potash assets, Prokopanko said.
- "At the right valuations, those kind of combinations might prove of interest," he said when asked about potential interest in Intrepid Potash (IPI +0.5%) or a Canadian potash mine under construction by Germany's K+S; IPI shares spiked briefly on the news, but have settled into a modest gain.
Nov. 5, 2013, 8:12 AM
- Mosaic (MOS) -0.2% premarket after Q3 earnings fell 70% and missed estimates, primarily driven by lower prices and lower North American sales volumes.
- Q3 phosphate net sales fell 18% to $1.4B, primarily driven by lower finished product prices, and phosphate sales volume was 2.7M metric tons vs. 2.9M in the year-ago period; potash net sales fell 44% to $523M, due to lower domestic shipment volumes and lower realized prices, and potash sales volume was 1.4M metric tons vs. 1.8M a year ago.
- Q4 phosphate sales volumes are expected at 2.5M-2.9M metric tons vs. 2.8M last year, at an average selling price of $370-$400/metric ton; gross margin percentage is estimated to be flat Q/Q.
- Q4 potash sales volumes are expected at 1.5M-1.9M metric tons vs. 1.4M in the year-ago period, at an average selling price of $285-$310/ metric ton; gross margin rate is seen in the mid-20% range.
- Says it will exit its underperforming distribution businesses in Argentina and Chile; also will close a small potash mine at Hersey, Mich., and sell its salt operation.
Nov. 5, 2013, 7:01 AM
Nov. 5, 2013, 12:05 AM
- AFSI, AKRX, AMED, AMG, AOL, ARCC, ARCO, ASH, BCRX, BDX, BPI, CCC, CHTR, COCO, CTSH, CVS, D, DLPH, DNR, DTV, DWRE, DX, DXM, EMR, ENR, EXH, EXLP, EXPD, FE, GLDD, GTIV, HCA, HCN, HL, HPT, HSIC, HST, HW, ICE, IFF, ISIS, KORS, KWK, LBTYA, LPX, MITT, MNTA, MOS, MPEL, MPW, NNN, NTLS, NXST, ODP, OMX, OWW, OXF, OZM, PMC, PQ, RDC, REGN, REN, RHP, RIGL, RRD, RRGB, SRE, TGH, TMUS, TRGT, TRP, VSI, XPO, ZBRA, ZINC, ZTS
Nov. 4, 2013, 5:30 PM
- AFSI, AKRX, AMED, AMG, AOL, ARCC, ARCO, ASH, BCRX, BDX, BPI, CCC, CHTR, COCO, CTSH, CVS, D, DLPH, DNR, DTV, DWRE, DX, DXM, EMR, ENR, EXH, EXLP, EXPD, FE, GLDD, GTIV, HCA, HCN, HL, HPT, HSIC, HST, HW, ICE, IFF, ISIS, KORS, KWK, LBTYA, LPX, MITT, MNTA, MOS, MPEL, MPW, NNN, NTLS, NXST, ODP, OMX, OWW, OXF, OZM, PMC, PQ, RDC, REGN, REN, RHP, RIGL, RRD, RRGB, SRE, TGH, TMUS, TRGT TRP, VSI, XPO, ZBRA, ZINC, ZTS
Nov. 4, 2013, 3:22 PM
- Potash producers have been reeling, but HSBC thinks the worst of the crisis has passed and prices may rise in the medium term, prompting the firm to upgrade Potash (POT +4.3%), Agrium (AGU +3.9%) and SQM (SQM +5.1%).
- POT is raised to Neutral from Underweight with a $31 price target, up from $22.50, while AGU to lifted to Overweight from Neutral and a $105 target from $95; Mosaic (MOS +1.2%) is reiterated at Underweight but with a higher target, to $40 from $33.
- The eventual return of Indian demand means phosphates have the clearest road to recovery of the crop nutrients, the firm believes.
Oct. 28, 2013, 3:27 PM
- Mosaic's (MOS +1.6%) deal to buy the phosphate business of fellow fertilizer producer CF Industries (CF +4.3%) for $1.2B in cash could raise U.S. antitrust concerns, BCMI Research says; MOS now accounts for more than half of North American sales of diammonium and monoammonium phosphates, and its share would rise to around three quarters after the CF deal.
- But MOS CFO Larry Stranghoener says the DoJ in the past had viewed the phosphate business as a global marketplace, easing potential competition concerns.
- MOS plans to buy back shares will not be affected by the deal, the CFO also says.
Oct. 28, 2013, 8:28 AM
- Mosaic (MOS) agrees to acquire the phosphate business of CF Industries (CF) for $1.2B in cash plus $200M to fund CF's asset retirement obligation escrow.
- MOS would acquire the 22K-acre South Pasture phosphate mine and beneficiation plant in Hardee County, Fla., a phosphate manufacturing facility in Plant City, Fla., and ammonia terminal and finished product warehouse facilities in Tampa; CF also will provide MOS with up to ~1M metric tons/year of ammonia.
- MOS expects the acquisition to add ~$0.30/share to 2015 earnings, and says the proximity of the South Pasture mine to MOS's planned Ona phosphate mine will allow MOS to save $500M by not having to construct a $1B beneficiation plant.
- CF says the sale of its phosphate operations represents good value and will enable it to sharpen the strategic focus on its nitrogen business.
- MOS +2.5%, CF +2.1% premarket.
Oct. 22, 2013, 11:22 AM
- Uralkali (URALL) has been ramping up its potash production significantly as part of its new strategy, independent director Paul Ostling says; the company has said it plans to produce 10.5M tons for the year, up 15% from 2012.
- While some reports suggest the partnership could be revived, Ostling says it would be difficult to "put Humpty Dumpty back together again" because of deep animosity on both sides, but that it wouldn't be impossible if the right agreements were reached.
- POT -0.9%, MOS +0.1%, AGU +0.6%, IPI +0.5%, CF -0.1%.
- ETFs: MOO, CROP, PAGG, VEGI.
Oct. 18, 2013, 8:49 AM
- German chemicals firm BASF (BASFY.PK) and Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara (YARIY.PK, YRAIF.PK) are evaluating a potential joint investment in a "world scale" ammonia plant at the U.S. Gulf coast.
- Yara, with its global ammonia network and market expertise, seeks to increase its presence in the U.S.; BASF, which has a strong U.S. presence, is currently a major user of ammonia for its U.S. downstream manufacturing activities and intends to further strengthen its backward integration.
- Other fertilizer producers such as CF, MOS and AGU could see interest today on the news.
Oct. 14, 2013, 2:14 PM
- Russian authorities say they opened a criminal case against the jailed chief executive of potash producer Uralkali (URALL.PK) and are seeking his extradition from Belarus to face charges in Russia, in what could be a face-saving move to defuse the potash rift.
- Russia's main investigative agency says its review of the case indicates enough evidence to charge the Uralkali chief in Russia, though political analysts doubt he would serve any prison time even if convicted.
- POT +0.8%, MOS -0.1%, AGU +0.7%, IPI -1.2%, CF +0.6%.
- ETFs: MOO, CROP, PAGG, VEGI.
Oct. 11, 2013, 2:22 PM
- Potash's (POT -1.5%) downside Q3 guidance shouldn't come as a surprise, particularly after Agrium cut its forecast earlier this week as CEO Mike Wilson said "the soap opera in Russia" was weighing on potash prices.
- The revision reflects "acute market uncertainty" battering global potash markets, Raymond James analyst Steve Hansen says; with potash prices moving sharply lower across most importing regions, “buyers seem intent on deferring purchases with the hope of securing lower prices and improved macro visibility in the future.”
- But analysts say competition among suppliers is intensifying amid negotiations with the Chinese who are among the top potash buyers, pointing to a further fall in prices.
- Also, MOS -2.1%, AGU +1%, IPI -0.2%, CF -1%, SQM -2.1%.
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