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Potash of Saskatchewan (POT) Rising Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.  (POT - Get Report) was surging 3.3% to $33.70 in midday trading on Wednesday.

The potash market suffered greatly in mid-2013 with the breakup of the Belarus Potash Company, one of two major exporting and marketing groups that combined to control about 70% of all potash market activity. Belarus member, Uralkali, decided to part ways with partner Belaruskali, which dropped potash stock prices.

But Potash of Saskatchewan received some good news at the very end of 2013 when the Russian ambassador to Belarus, Alexander Surikov, said that Uralkali would be open to partnering with Belaruskali again. A reformation of the Belarus Potash Company could elevate stock prices back to early 2013 levels.

In the last year, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has a low price of $28.55 a share and a high price of $44.13 a share.

TheStreet Ratings team rates POTASH CORP SASK INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate POTASH CORP SASK INC (POT) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • 40.99% is the gross profit margin for POTASH CORP SASK INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of POT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, POT's net profit margin of 23.42% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.80 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 29.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Chemicals industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 44.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $645.00 million to $356.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $616.00 million or 18.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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