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%.
Dec. 5, 2014, 10:56 AM
- Potash Corp. (POT +2.4%) is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral with a $40 target price, raised from $34, at J.P. Morgan, citing more favorable potash industry fundamentals and the company's declining investment spending.
- The firm expects POT to generate a 6.3% free cash flow yield in 2015 and a 7.1% free cash flow yield in 2016, as POT currently pays a 4% dividend.
- U.S. potash inventories are now 35% below their five year average, the firm says.
Dec. 2, 2014, 6:11 PM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) +1.3% AH after saying it has completed strategic reviews of its potash and nitrogen fertilizer segments and plans to do the same for its phosphate unit, equity investments that have a combined market value of ~$4.5B.
- POT has amassed stakes in rival potash producers, including a 14% holding in Israel Chemicals (OTCPK:ISCHY) currently valued at ~$1.1B, a stake some analysts say may no longer meet POT’s investment criteria.
- In evaluating the investments, POT is considering whether it can influence the other companies and the likelihood of whether it can gain a controlling stake, CIBC analyst Jacob Bout says.
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%.
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%.
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