NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Monsanto ( MON), Yongye International ( YONG) and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT) are among the eight agricultural chemical stocks that have potential upside in the next 12 months, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The U.S. chemical industry is one of the top exporters in the world and is worth $674 billion. In 2010, the U.S. federal government revealed that it spent $9.8 million on pesticides, fertilizers and agricultural chemicals.

The International Fertilizer Industry Association is projecting global fertilizer consumption growth at 3.8% for 2011-2012. The IFA expects an additional $80 billion will be invested between 2011 and 2015 in new production capacity, with the highest levels of production, sales and consumption seen to date occurring in 2011.

The global fertilizer market is in a significantly strong position in 2011, with demand levels seen growing further and prices of products also rising, improving profitability. Analysts expect these eight agricultural chemical stocks to generate lucrative returns for investors over the next 12 months. These stocks have 6%-128% upside with strong buy, hold ratings.

The stocks are stacked based on upside, great to greatest.

8. Monsanto ( MON) is a leading provider of agricultural products for farmers worldwide. The company operates through its subsidiaries in these main segments: Seeds, Genomics and Agricultural Productivity. The company provides seeds, develops biotechnology trait products and herbicides for farmers.

For the first quarter of 2011, the company reported an 8% increase in net sales and swung to a net income of $6 million from a loss of $19 million in the year-ago quarter. Heading into 2011, based on its first-quarter results, the company expects earnings per share in the range of $2.72 and $2.82 and capital expenditure between $600 million and $700 million. Of the total spend, 43% is allocated toward biotech. Furthermore, nine biotech projects are advancing across platforms that were added in the past two years.

Monsanto and Sapphire Energy recently announced an agreement to enter a multi-year collaboration that will leverage Sapphire's algae-based research platform to discover genes that could be applied to agriculture. Monsanto says it will make an undisclosed equity investment in Sapphire.

Of the 25 analysts covering the stock, 40% recommend a buy while 52% rate a hold. Data from Bloomberg has analysts forecasting the stock gaining 5.5% to $76.2 in the upcoming 12 months.

7. Syngenta ( SYT) is a leading agribusiness dedicated to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of a range of crop solutions. The company specializes in a range of seeds, namely field crops, vegetable and flower seeds, and pot and bedding plants.

For full-year 2010, the company reported a 6% increase in sales to $11.6 billion. Earnings per share were up 2% from the previous year. For 2010, the company increased its dividend by 32% in dollar terms. Meanwhile, the company believes that its strategic partnership with Marrone Bio Innovations will broaden its customer offerings. Syngenta has signed a distribution agreement with Marrone for exclusive distribution rights in the EAME region for its first marketable bio-fungicide, Regalia.

The company recently announced its decision to integrate its crop protection and seeds business to improve operations, and the merger will be completed by the end of 2012. The company believes that beginning 2015, the commercial integration will result in cost savings of around $150 million and savings from procurement and supply chain efficiency at around $500 million.

Of the 6 analysts covering the stock, 50% recommend a buy while the remaining rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 11.5% to $72.7 in the upcoming 12 months.

6. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), an integrated fertilizer and related industrial and feed producer, owns and operates five potash mines in Saskatchewan and one in New Brunswick. It also holds mineral rights in a mine where potash is produced under a third-party agreement. The company operates a phosphate mine and two mineral processing plants in northern Florida and six phosphate feed plants in the U.S.

Potash Corp is the world's largest producer of fertilizer and contributes about 20% of the global supply. The company estimates potash demand to rise to 60 million tons in 2011 from 52 million tons in 2010. Furthermore, the industry's operational capability stands at 61 million tons. For the first quarter of 2011, the company reported net income (pre-split) per share in the range of $2.10 to $2.70 and full year in the range of $8.40 to $9.60.

Heading into 2011, the company expects global potash shipments to reach 55 million to 60 million tons from 52 million tons in 2010. North American demand is likely to reach historical highs of 10 million tons in 2011. Capital expenditure for next year is seen at $2 billion, with $1.4 billion related to ongoing potash expansion projects.

Of the 28 analysts covering the stock, 64% recommend a buy while 32% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 13.2%, to $66.7, in the upcoming 12 months.

5. Agrium ( AGU), a retailer of agricultural products and services in the U.S., Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, is a global producer and wholesale marketer of nutrients for agricultural and industrial markets. The company operates through three business units: Retail, Wholesale and Advanced Technologies.

For full year 2010, the company reported net earnings of $714 million as compared to $366 million in 2009. Also, net sales increased to $10.52 million from $9.13 million the year earlier. Looking ahead, the company aims to capture AUD$17 million in synergies from the AWB acquisition and AUD$40 million or more in 2012.

Moody's Investors Service recently said that companies like Potash Corp, Mosaic and Agrium are poised for robust gains in the upcoming 2-3 years as farmers capitalize on the commodity boom. A senior official at Moody's said that the fertilizer sector has become the strongest business within the chemicals industry and fertilizer producers are garnering huge profits from rising prices and volumes.

Of the 27 analysts covering the stock, 70% recommend a buy while 26% rate a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 13.6% to $104.8 in the upcoming 12 months.

4. CF Industries Holdings ( CF), a manufacturer and distributor of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products, operates in two segments: nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers. The company's market and distribution facilities are concentrated in the Midwestern grain-producing states, and other agricultural areas of the U.S. and Canada. As of Dec. 31, 2010, CF sold 11.5 million tons of nitrogen fertilizers and 1.9 million tons of phosphate fertilizers.

In April 2010, the company completed its $4.7 billion merger deal with Terra Industries, the second-largest player in nitrogen fertilizers. The CEO believes that the merger has proved decisive for the company.

Terra Nitrogen Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of CF Industries Holdings, reported full-year 2010 net earnings of $201.6 million on sales of $564.6 million against net earnings of $144.3 million on sales of $507.7 million in 2009. For the fourth quarter, the company paid a dividend of $1.36 per share.

Meanwhile, the company's cash and cash equivalents multiplied several times to $124.8 million from $24.8 million in 2009, on record crop prices and strong food demand. CF recorded sales of $3.96 billion in 2010 compared to $2.61 billion in the previous year.

Looking ahead, Fitch believes that 2011 could be a good year for CF as low natural gas prices will combine with strong demand for nitrogen and phosphate-based fertilizers to produce a record cash flow. Also, rising demand in less-developed economies, high grain prices and the high corn-for-ethanol production in the U.S. will support the company's profitability levels. Meanwhile, cash flow after capital expenditure will exceed $1.5 billion.

Of the 18 analysts covering the stock, 61% recommend a buy on it while 33% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 14.2%, to $156.2, in the upcoming 12 months.

3. China Green Agriculture ( CGA), operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries, engages in the research, development, production and sale of fertilizers and agricultural products in China. Through its five subsidiaries, it is mainly involved in fertilizer products.

China Green's board of directors recently approved the company's 2011-2020 corporate growth plan, underpinning the company's objective of emerging as a leader in the overall fertilizer industry in China by 2020. In terms of revenue, the company targets to reach $750 million by 2015 and $3 billion by 2020. In addition, China Green is seeking to establish the National Engineering Research Center of Humic Acid-based Fertilizers of China, expand its market share and build brand awareness.

For fiscal second-quarter 2011, the company's net sales increased 216.1%, to $35.3 million, while net income soared 32%, to $6.2 million, or 24 cents per share. For the third quarter, the company's revenue guidance is between $41.8 million and $43.6 million, with earnings per share in the range of 31 cents to 32 cents.

Heading into 2011, China Green's revenue guidance is $155 million to $165 million due to the large export contract signed by subsidiary Gufeng this year. Gufeng recently signed an export contract with Sinoagri Holding, one of the largest domestic fertilizer traders in China, for exporting 165,000 tons of binary acid compound fertilizer products to India. The first delivery is scheduled for late May 2011.

All four analysts covering the stock recommend a buy. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 19.6% to $8.3 in the upcoming 12 months.

2. Rentech ( RTK), a provider of clean energy solutions, owns and operates a nitrogen fertilizer plant and manufactures and sells natural gas-based nitrogen fertilizer products within the corn-belt region in the U.S. The company develops energy projects in order to produce certified synthetic fuels and electric power from carbon-containing materials.

For first-quarter 2011, the company reported revenue of $42.1 million as compared to $27.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Net loss narrowed to $5.5 million from $15.5 million during the same period. Meanwhile, it swung to an operating income of $15.0 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, compared to an operating loss of $2.0 million last year.

Looking ahead, the company estimates almost $60 million of EBITDA with an operating income of at least $50.4 million for 2011. Rentech's wholly owned subsidiary, Rentech Energy Midwest Corporation (REMC), has signed fixed-price contracts for the sale of more than 70% of REMC's forecasted deliveries for 2011, and for the natural gas that is required to produce the product. Strong demand and pricing for fertilizer products is expected to continue throughout the year and thus support profit levels.

Of the six analysts covering the stock, 33% recommend a buy on it while 50% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 74%, to $2.2, in the upcoming 12 months.

1. Yongye International ( YONG), through its primary operating subsidiary Yongye Nongfeng, engages in the manufacture, research and development and sale of fulvic acid-based liquid and powder nutrient compounds used in the agriculture industry in China. Its two principal segments are plant and animal products.

For 2010, the company reported a 118.3% increase in revenue to $214.1 million from 2009. Net income stood at $48.4 million or $1.05 per share, compared to $2.2 million or 7 cents in 2009. The company's performance improved after it acquired the Hebei customer list to sell its products directly to county-level distributors in Hebei Province, which accounted for 29% of sales in 2010.

For 2011, the company estimates revenue in the range of $315 million to $325 million, indicating an increase of 47.1% to 51.8% over 2010 levels. Furthermore, the company has raised its guidance and provided an estimate ahead of analysts'. Meanwhile, adjusted net income attributable to Yongye is seen in the range of $80 million and $82 million. The company plans to increase its independently owned Yongye-branded store count to 30,000 in 2011 from 24,036 at the end of 2010.

Of the four analysts covering the stock, 75% recommend a buy while the remaining suggests a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 128.4% to $14 in the upcoming 12 months.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 8 Ag Chem Stocks With Upside Up to 128% portfolio on Stockpickr.

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