1. Agrium (AGU), a global producer and marketer of agricultural products with three business units: retail, wholesale and advanced technologies.
Sales were $6.2 billion for the second quarter of 2011, a 40% increase from $4.4 billion in the same quarter prior year. Agrium announced consolidated net earnings of $718 million for the quarter compared with net earnings of $518 million in the year-ago quarter.
On the demand prospects, Mike Wilson, Agrium CEO, commented "Growers in the Eastern U.S. Corn Belt and Western Canada in particular were not able to plant all the acreage, or apply all the nutrients, they would have liked to this spring. Global crop and crop nutrient markets remain tight. The combination of all these factors is expected to bode well for crop input demand this fall and Agrium will be there to provide the products necessary for growers to maximize their yields and returns."Cash and cash equivalents increased to $966 million at the end of the quarter from $635 million at the end of Dec. 2010. Of the 23 analysts covering the stock, 14 rate it a buy. Analysts suggest an estimated upside of 53% from the current levels and the stock is trading at 7.8 times its estimated 2011 earnings.
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