CF Industries Holdings (CF) is engaged in the manufacture and distribution of nitrogen and phosphate-based fertilizer products in North America. The company's major customers include cooperatives and independent fertilizer distributors.
Of the 17 analysts covering the stock, 58.8% recommend a buy while the remaining rate a hold. There are no sell ratings. On average, analysts estimate a 18.5% upside from current levels.
For the latest fourth quarter, the company recorded earnings per share of $2.78, compared to $1.04 during the same quarter a year ago. Net sales surged 144% to $1.2 billion from $506.7 million a year ago. Fourth quarter results reflect the benefit of acquiring Terra Industries in April 2010, a higher selling price for phosphate and larger nitrogen volumes. For 2010, the company's net sales grew 52%, including $1.4 billion sales contribution from Terra Industries and expanding volumes.Looking ahead, the company expects farmers in the U.S. to plant 92 million acres of corn in 2011, compared to 88.2 million in the prior year. CF's strong outlook for agriculture has boosted fertilizer producers. The company recently declared a dividend of 10 cents per share, payable March 1, 2011.
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