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Mosaic(MOS) is one of the biggest phosphate and potash producers in the world, supplying farmers with the crop nutrients they need to meet the market's demand for soft commodities. That demand has been ravenous over the last couple of years as agricultural commodity prices rocketed to new highs. Those high market prices mean that farmers will be willing to shell out more cash for Mosaic's offerings, adding some cushion to net margins that already look attractive.
One big reason for deep, double-digit net margins is Mosaic's vertical integration. The firm mines phosphate in Florida and mines potash at its properties in New Mexico, Saskatchewan, and Michigan. By owning the production facilities for the nutrients that MOS ultimately processes and sells to farmers, the firm doesn't have to cede any of its profitability to middlemen. That vertical integration could really shine in the coming years as its global distribution network really starts bearing fruit in emerging markets where modern farming operations continue to expand.
A restructuring effort in the wake of the Great Recession has left Mosaic's shareholders in great shape. The firm carries around $3.6 billion in cash right now, easily offsetting a $1 billion debt load. As ag commodities continue to pad MOS' profits, the firm's cash should keep moving higher -- and so should its dividend payout.
Currently, Mosaic pays a quarterly 25-cent dividend. I expect that payout to climb in the next quarter.
As of the most recently reported quarter, Mosaic was one of
George Soros' holdings.
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