Thu, Mar. 19, 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%.
Wed, Feb. 11, 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%).
Oct. 1, 2014, 5:28 PM
- Agrium (NYSE:AGU) -4.5% AH after saying it expects Q3 EPS from continuing operations of $0.45-$0.55, below analyst consensus estimate of $0.74, and Q4 EPS from continuing operations to be similar to results from the year-ago Q4 adjusted EPS of $0.72, also below consensus of $1.03.
- AGU expects the EBITDA contribution from its wholesale operations in H2 2014 to be similar to last year's results, and H2 retail EBITDA is anticipated to be in-line with the record EBITDA achieved in the same period last year.
- Other fertilizer companies also are lower AH: POT -2.4%, MOS -1%, CF -0.3%.
Sep. 30, 2014, 9:40 AM
- Mosaic (MOS -2.1%) opens lower after saying it is reducing phosphate fertilizer production because of high sulfur and ammonia prices.
- MOS says the curtailment will result in lower operating rates at its mines and concentrates plants but does not expect any employee layoffs.
- MOS also says it expects Q3 potash and phosphate sales volumes to be at or near the lower end of previous guidance, due to weather-driven production outages in potash and by timing of shipments in phosphates; prices are expected to remain near the middle of guidance.
- POT -1.1%, AGU -0.9%, CF -0.2%, RNF -0.8%, RTK -1.7%.
May. 6, 2014, 11:20 AM
- Mosaic (MOS -2.2%) will eliminate 500 jobs in the next 12 months, part of a plan to cut $500M in costs over five years, CEO Jim Prokopanko said in this morning's earnings conference call.
- The cuts are aimed at strengthening MOS' status as a low-cost phosphate producer and improving its relatively high cost position in potash.
- Prokopanko also says the dividend is secure and there are no plans to scale back the share repurchase program.
- Also heard during the call: Q2 outlook remains challenging but the company's future remains bright, MOS faces short-term containment issues in Canada, growing the Brazilian business is a key focus, and shipments are off to another fast start this year.
May. 6, 2014, 7:59 AM
- Mosaic (MOS) -1.9% premarket after reporting a larger than expected 43% Y/Y drop in Q1 earnings on declining sales, hurt by lower prices for phosphate and potash.
- Q1 phosphate sales totaled 2.7M metric tons, above forecast 2.3M-2.6M tons; average realized price was $414/ton, above the prior quarter's $381 but well below the year-ago price of $491.
- Q1 potash sales totaled 2.4M metric tons, near the low end of expectations; average selling price $267/ton, vs. $303 per ton in Q4 and $376 a year ago.
- MOS forecasts Q2 phosphate sales volumes of 3.1M-3.4M metric tons, up from 2.9M tons last year, at realized prices of $430-$460/ton; expects potash sales of 2.2M-2.5M metric tons, compared with 2.4M tons a year ago, at realized prices of $250-$275/ton.
- Sees FY 2014 capex of $1.2B-$1.4B.
Mar. 5, 2014, 3:59 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT +3.9%) and other fertilizer makers rally as FT reports the two largest shareholders in Uralkali have endorsed the logic of restarting a partnership with the Belarus potash export cartel, opening the door to a deal that would end the potash war that has roiled the industry.
- No formal negotiations have occurred between the two companies about restarting their partnership, but the subject is said to have been mentioned informally.
- AGU +1.5%, MOS +1.8%, IPI +4.3%.
Mar. 3, 2014, 2:35 PM
- Potash producers are bucking the broader stock market weakness, as they stand to benefit if the Ukrainian crisis leads to economic sanctions against Russia.
- Potash is one of Russia’s important export products, Newedge's Robbert van Batenburg notes: “The erstwhile cartel between Russia and Belarus supplied 43% of total global potash demand... Non-Russian potash supplier[s] may benefit from a potential trade sanctions that could impact Russian potash exports.”
- POT +0.6%, AGU +1%, MOS +0.2%, IPI +0.5%, CF +1.7%.
Jan. 30, 2014, 8:22 AM
- Potash (POT) -4.3% premarket after posting a 45% drop in Q4 earnings and issuing weaker than expected earnings guidance for 2014 on expectations for continued pricing pressure.
- Gross margins fell as lower prices for all three fertilizer nutrients - potash, nitrogen and phosphate - outweighed improved costs and higher sales volumes.
- In its downside guidance, POT sees Q1 EPS of $0.30-$0.35 vs. $0.46 analyst consensus, and sees FY 2014 EPS of $1.40-$1.80 vs. $2.01 consensus.
- Q4 potash sales volumes rose 13%, largely fueled by North American activity, but average potash prices fell to $282/metric ton in the quarter from $387 a year earlier; while POT near-term pressure on potash prices appears to have subsided, "its impact is expected to suppress our offshore realizations through the early part of 2014."
- Among peers: MOS -1.2%, IPI -2.1% premarket.
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