Time to Buy UAPH? Merrill's Steve Byrne Thinks So (UAPH)

| About: UAP Holding (UAPH)

Earlier this month, UAPH committed the cardinal sin of disappointing analysts, who dislike nothing more than being made to look foolish.

They, and not UAPH, had been forecasting earnings of $1.47 cents a share for 2007. Instead, while posting higher first quarter profits, the company said it expects earnings of between $1.25 and $1.40 a share, and UAPH's shares promptly slumped by over 10%.

But while those all around him were sulking, Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Byrne, though lowering his 07 estimate, said the shares could gain in the coming months, driven by a rebound in demand for fertilizer this fall. The outlook for expanding U.S. corn acreage is favorable for UAPH, as corn accounts for a disproportionately large amount of U.S. demand for fertilizers, seeds and crop production chemicals.

Byrne maintained his Buy rating for UAPH with a $25 price target. Insider moves recommends following his advice, as did one of the company's key directors, Carl Rickertsen, who last week spent $221,820 of his own money buying 12,000 shares at $18.48 each.

UAPH 1-yr chart:

UAPH 1-yr chart

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