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%.
Nov. 12, 2014, 5:33 PM| Comment!
Nov. 11, 2014, 7:17 PM
- Capital Group disclosed in a filing this week that it has increased its stake in Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) to 83.1M shares, or just above 10% of the total and nearly double the shares of any other single investor.
- “We don’t know whether Capital Group is averaging down their cost of [POT shares] or adding to their position because of Jochen Tilk’s new role, but regardless this should be positive for the stock,” AltaCorp Capital says.
- Capital Group is raising its stake in POT at a time when many investors expect the company will raise its dividend or buy back stock.
Oct. 23, 2014, 9:14 AM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) +1.2% premarket after reporting an 11% drop in Q3 earnings and missed analyst estimates, but the results were within the company's prior guidance.
- POT says it sold 2M metric tons of potash in Q3, up 29% Y/Y, but its average realized price was US$281/ton vs. US$307 in Q3 2013.
- Says global potash shipments reached an all-time high in the first nine months of 2014 amid rising prices, and nitrogen and phosphate prices also have improved as demand has been strong.
- Increases its estimate for potash annual sales volumes to 9M-9.2M metric tons; sees 2014 worldwide potash sales of 58M-60M tons, above its prior guidance.
- Issues in-line FY 2014 EPS guidance, seeing $1.75-$1.85 from prior $1.70-$1.90 vs. $1.82 analyst consensus estimate.
Oct. 23, 2014, 6:08 AM
Oct. 16, 2014, 2:14 PM
- Ten of 12 U.S. farm retail companies surveyed by Reuters say fertilizer sales this autumn are lower than they were last year, as farmers respond to a drop in crop prices to multi-year lows and a delayed harvest.
- Reductions in fertilizer use of an estimated 10%-50% by volume could hit profits of producers such as Potash Corp. (POT -1.1%) and Mosaic (MOS -0.7%) since U.S. buyers typically pay a premium for some fertilizers such as potash.
- Some U.S. dealers say there is still time for fertilizer sales to recover to last year's levels once farmers complete the harvest, but others fear a slump that could stretch into 2015 as low crop prices push purchases out of reach.
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%.
Sep. 23, 2014, 3:36 PM
- Canadian fertilizer makers Agrium (AGU +2.4%) and Potash (POT +0.2%) say they are bracing for a pullback in demand from U.S. farmers due to sliding crop prices, but that any slump is unlikely to be severe.
- Agrium CEO Chuck Magro tells an investor conference that he expects record U.S. yields should support relatively strong fertilizer applications in Q4 2014 and H1 2015, but "near-perfect weather" already has limited sales of chemicals that protect crops from disease and insects.
- Potash CFO Wayne Brownlee says he assumes some reduction in U.S. potash use after this year's harvest, but notes that the crop nutrient makes up only ~3.5% of a farmer's total costs.
- Investor presentations: AGU, POT.
Sep. 17, 2014, 3:41 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT +0.5%) may boost its production capacity to as much as 11M metric tons of potash next year from ~9.2M tons this year on signs that demand for the crop nutrient may rise, CFO Wayne Brownlee says today in an investor presentation.
- "Given some of the supply constraints we’ve seen in some of our competitors, there may be room for us to have increased volume," the CFO says.
- Brownlee estimates global potash sales will total 58M-59M tons this year, with the same range or possibly increasing slightly in 2015.
Sep. 16, 2014, 5:55 PM
- The CEO of Russian potash firm Uralkali (OTC:URALL) says it has no plans to return to the sales arrangement it had with Belarus, WSJ reports.
- Share prices of major potash producers in North America, Germany and Israel have rallied this year, partly on hopes of a reconciliation, but Uralkali CEO Dmitry Osipov says no talks have been held since April and none are planned.
- However, potash prices have not fallen as much as some analysts had predicted following the breakup, due in part to better than anticipated demand from Brazil and China.
- On watch: POT, MOS, AGU.
Sep. 12, 2014, 8:00 AM
Sep. 12, 2014, 7:51 AM
- Potash (NYSE:POT) says it has rescued the last of 96 miners trapped after a fire in one of its Saskatchewan potash mines, after some of them had spent more than 24 hours underground.
- Fire broke out Wednesday in a water truck inside POT's Allan mine, and the workers were sent to underground refuge stations while a crew entered the mine and put out the fire.
- POT says it will assess the situation before deciding when to resume mining.
Sep. 9, 2014, 9:16 AM
- Cowen analysts maintain their bearish stance on the agriculture industry and fertilizer stocks, expecting the large crop and significantly lower grain prices to pressure fertilizer prices.
- The firm lowers estimates on all ag names to reflect a reduced fertilizer forecast and downgrades Potash (NYSE:POT) to Underperform from Market Perform as well as Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) to Sector Perform from Outperform; POT -1% premarket.
- Also: CF, AGU, IPI, RNF.
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