2012 has been a stellar year for shares of fertilizer company CF Industries (CF). Since the first trading day of January, shares of the Illinois-based firm have rallied more than 38%.
CF is a vertically integrated nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer producer. That means that the firm is engaged in every step of the process, from mining phosphate in Florida and producing nitrogen to packaging and selling its fertilizers to commercial farmers around the world.Fertilizer has been an attractive business in the last few years, buoyed by rising agricultural commodity prices and continued subsidy checks coming to farmers who grow fertilizer-intense crops like corn. Nitrogen fertilizers make up around 80% of CF's business, and because natural gas, one of the primary inputs in nitrogen production, has been skirting along multi-year low prices, the firm hasn't felt the margin squeeze seen at other commodity-centric manufacturers. >>3 Agricultural Stocks Poised to Benefit From Drought CF announces its second-quarter earnings numbers on Aug. 7. Expect those results to have a big impact on whether shares of this fertilizer firm can continue to grow in price. With rising analyst sentiment this week, we're betting on shares of this Rocket Stock for the start of August.
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