Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 994,070 shares, an increase of 46.5% from the July 14th total of 678,569 shares. Currently, 0.7% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 390,464 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.5 days.

Agrium (AGU) opened at 98.30 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $97.10 and its 200 day moving average price is $95.78. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.72 and a beta of 0.62. Agrium has a 52 week low of $87.78 and a 52 week high of $111.88.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 19th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be paid a $0.875 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $3.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.56%. Agrium’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 84.34%.

AGU has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. AltaCorp Capital reiterated a “sector perform” rating on shares of Agrium in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Vertical Research upgraded Agrium from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 19th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $110.00 target price on Agrium and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Scotiabank upgraded Agrium from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $110.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $91.00 target price on shares of Agrium in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $103.86.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in Agrium during the second quarter worth $1,003,000. Scotia Capital Inc. increased its stake in Agrium by 10.5% in the second quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 383,158 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $34,640,000 after buying an additional 36,550 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia increased its stake in Agrium by 10.7% in the second quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 762,339 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $69,101,000 after buying an additional 73,748 shares during the period. Colonial Trust Advisors increased its stake in Agrium by 77.2% in the second quarter. Colonial Trust Advisors now owns 20,089 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,818,000 after buying an additional 8,750 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in Agrium by 69.0% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 129,024 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $11,673,000 after buying an additional 52,659 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.42% of the company’s stock.

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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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