2. Agrium (AGU) is a global producer and marketer of agricultural products. It operates through its three business units: Retail, wholesale and advanced technologies. It sells crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed and services.
During the first quarter of 2011, revenue surged 60% to $3 billion from $1.8 billion, driven by higher revenue across its segments. Retail revenue soared 72% largely due to the combination of the inclusion of the Australian Landmark retail operations, as well as higher crop input volumes and prices. On the other hand, wholesale revenue grew 45%, owing to strong agricultural fundamentals. Lastly, the company swung to a net income of $171 million, or $1.09 per share, as against a loss of $1 million, or 1-cent per share in the year-ago quarter.
The company recently declared a dividend of $0.055 per common share to be paid on July 7, 2011 to shareholders of record on June 16, 2011.Of the 26 analysts covering the stock, 69% recommend it as a buy, while 27% rate it a hold. On average, analysts estimate 28.1% upside to $104.93 in value from current levels.
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