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2012 is offering up a good run for shareholders of $25 billion fertilizer firm
Mosaic (MOS - Get Report). So far this year, the firm has rallied more than 15% on the heels of a share repurchase and a general swing in market sentiment.
Mosaic also gets the distinction of being the biggest dividend increaser of the last week; the firm increased its quarterly payout by 150% to 12 cents per share. Before you get too excited about the increase, though, that's a 0.34% yield.
Mosaic is a major player in the fertilizer business, generating around 12% of global potash and phosphate production. The same agricultural tailwinds that are benefitting Deere right now are also benefitting Mosaic -- prices for soft commodities have been climbing for a while now, making farmers much less beholden to their input costs. That gives Mosaic a whole lot more pricing power in this economy.
Low cost mines and vertical integration provide deep, double-digit margins for MOS, something that investors shouldn't ignore as soft commodity prices only move higher. Mosaic is a strong company; that said, the firm's lack of a meaningful dividend means that it's not core-holding material.
Mosaic, one of
John Paulson's stocks, shows up on lists of
10 Stocks in the Red-Hot Materials Sector and
10 Top Morningstar M&A Stock Picks for 2012.