Vertical Research Upgrades Agrium Inc. (AGU) to “Buy”
Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) was upgraded by research analysts at Vertical Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.
AGU has been the subject of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Agrium from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 20th. Royal Bank of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and set a $110.00 price objective (up from $105.00) on shares of Agrium in a research note on Monday, February 13th. Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Agrium in a research note on Monday, March 6th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $119.00 price objective for the company. Cowen and Company upgraded shares of Agrium from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $109.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $91.00 target price on shares of Agrium in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $103.85.
Shares of Agrium (NYSE:AGU) traded up 4.40% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $92.52. 654,432 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $92.39 and its 200-day moving average price is $98.21. Agrium has a one year low of $87.62 and a one year high of $111.88. The company has a market capitalization of $12.78 billion, a PE ratio of 22.05 and a beta of 0.83.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.875 per share. This represents a $3.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.78%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 28th. Agrium’s payout ratio is 81.21%.
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Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec raised its stake in Agrium by 3.4% in the third quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 4,798,853 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $433,969,000 after buying an additional 155,652 shares during the last quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Agrium by 4.7% in the first quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 4,495,128 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $428,284,000 after buying an additional 200,460 shares in the last quarter. Dodge & Cox purchased a new stake in shares of Agrium during the fourth quarter worth about $445,660,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of Agrium by 24.5% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 4,019,852 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $384,097,000 after buying an additional 791,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Agrium by 6.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,137,729 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $299,810,000 after buying an additional 186,366 shares in the last quarter. 70.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Agrium Company Profile
Agrium Inc is a retailer of agricultural products and services in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay and a multi-national producer and wholesale marketer of nutrients for agricultural and industrial markets. The Company’s segments include Retail and Wholesale. As of December 31, 2016, its Retail business unit marketed crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed, merchandise, application and other agronomic services through 1,500 retail locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
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