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
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.
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