5. Agrium (AGU), a retailer of agricultural products and services in the U.S., Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, is a global producer and wholesale marketer of nutrients for agricultural and industrial markets. The company operates through three business units: Retail, Wholesale and Advanced Technologies.
For full year 2010, the company reported net earnings of $714 million as compared to $366 million in 2009. Also, net sales increased to $10.52 million from $9.13 million the year earlier. Looking ahead, the company aims to capture AUD$17 million in synergies from the AWB acquisition and AUD$40 million or more in 2012.
Moody's Investors Service recently said that companies like Potash Corp, Mosaic and Agrium are poised for robust gains in the upcoming 2-3 years as farmers capitalize on the commodity boom. A senior official at Moody's said that the fertilizer sector has become the strongest business within the chemicals industry and fertilizer producers are garnering huge profits from rising prices and volumes.Of the 27 analysts covering the stock, 70% recommend a buy while 26% rate a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 13.6% to $104.8 in the upcoming 12 months.
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