NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Syngenta ( SYT), Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), The Mosaic Company ( MOS), CF Industries Holdings ( CF), Monsanto ( MON) and Agrium ( AGU) have upside potential of up to 53%, based on analysts' consensus estimate of 12-month price targets.

These six stocks likely will profit from higher demand for agricultural inputs. With minimum market capitalization of $10 billion, and based on respective 12-month price targets, analysts expect them to outperform their peers and the broader markets. The stocks have high mean buy rating of 58% and are estimated to deliver 26% to 53% returns over the next one year.
6. Syngenta ( SYT) is a $25 billion agri-business company operating in the seeds and crop protection business.

Syngenta reported 12% increase in sales for the first half of 2011, on constant currency basis. Crop protection sales, accounting for three-fourths of sales, were up 10%, with 12% coming from volume growth. Seeds sales registered a growth of 17% with 15% coming from volume.

Net income rose to $1.43 billion, up 14% from the corresponding period in 2010. Gross margin stood at 28.3%, narrowing 30 bps from the first half of 2010 on lower crop protection, pricing and increase in operating costs.

On the business opportunities, Mike Mack, the company's CEO, commented, "As we enter the second half of the year, a positive outlook for the main Latin American season starting in September is underpinned by favorable fundamentals. We also expect further expansion in Asia Pacific and look forward to continuing strong growth in volumes with further gains in market share across the business. We expect to generate 2011 full year free cash flow in excess of $1 billion. In addition, the outlook for pricing for the rest of the year is positive and we expect stable pricing for the full year. For the 2012 season, we are currently raising prices across the business with the aim of achieving an overall increase in the mid single digits."

Of the seven analysts covering the stock, 43% recommend a buy and 43% rate it a hold. On average, analysts estimate 26% upside and the stock is trading at 13.4 times its 2011 earnings.

5. Monsanto ( MON), operating through its subsidiaries, supplies agricultural products including seed, biotechnology trait products and herbicides to farmers. Monsanto manages two business segments: seeds and genomics; and agricultural productivity. The company's solutions improve productivity and reduce farming costs.

During the third quarter of fiscal 2011, revenue increased 21% year-over-year to $3.6 billion from $2.96 billion. Gross profit rose 41%, led by agricultural productivity. Gross margin improved 700 bps to 54% during this period.

Monsanto reported earnings of $680 million, or $1.26 per share, compared to $384 million, or 70 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company generated free-cash flows of $237 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2011 over negative $1152 million during the corresponding period in 2010.

Of the 22 analysts covering the stock, 64% recommend a buy. On average, analysts estimate 29% upside from current levels. The stock has gained 31% in the last one year and is trading at 21.9 times its estimated 2011 earnings.

4. CF Industries Holdings ( CF) manufactures and markets nitrogen- and phosphate-based fertilizers. The company's marketing and distribution facilities are located in the Midwestern grain-producing states and other agricultural areas of the U.S. and Canada.

Second quarter 2011 sales were $198.6 million, up from $166.9 million in the prior-year quarter. Higher ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate solutions boosted sales due to strong demand in North America. Net earnings for the period were $128.9 million, compared to $66.7 million for the three months ended June 2010.

Cash and cash equivalents stood at $152.5 million. Of the 17 analysts covering the stock, 6 recommend a hold and 10 rate it a buy. Analysts expect the stock to gain 32% in the next one year. The stock is trading at 6.8 times its 2011 earnings.

3. The Mosaic Company ( MOS) is a producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate- and potash-based crop nutrients for the global agriculture industry. The company mines potash in Saskatchewan, New Mexico and Michigan and sells its products in North America and other global markets.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, Mosaic reported net sales of $3.1 billion, increasing 41% from $2.2 billion in the same quarter prior year. Net earnings were $526 million compared to $298 million in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was 28% compared to 23% a year ago, driven primarily by improved potash operating rates and higher selling prices.

Looking ahead, the company estimates total sales volumes for its potash segment in the range of 1.7 million to 1.9 million tons for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. For the next quarter, total sales volume for the phosphates segment is estimated to range from 3.1 to 3.5 million tons. Total capital spending for fiscal 2012 is projected between $1.6 billion and $1.9 billion.

At the end of the quarter, cash and cash equivalents stood at $4 billion. Of the 19 analysts covering the stock, 11 recommend a buy. There are no sell ratings. The stock has projected upside of 46% in the next one year and is trading at 9.6 times its estimated 2011 earnings.

2. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT) is an integrated fertilizer and related industrial and feed products company owning five potash mines in Saskatchewan and one in New Brunswick and Canada. The company has nitrogen facilities in Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio and Trinidad.

Second quarter 2011 sales were reported at $2.3 billion, up 61.8% from the same quarter last year. The company achieved potash production of 2.6 million metric tons, vs. 2.2 million metric tons in the prior-year quarter.

The company recorded second-quarter earnings of $840 million, increasing 81% from $480 million in the second-quarter of 2010. Higher sales and rising prices doubled EBITDA to $793 million from $411 million in the corresponding period of 2010.

Heading into the third quarter, EPS is estimated between 80 cents and $1, while the company's full-year 2011 earnings per share guidance range has been revised upwards to $3.4 to $3.80. The company recently announced a $7.6 billion potash expansion plan to improve operational capacity at its potash mine sites. This program is expected to improve operational capability to 17.1 million metric tons by 2015. Besides production, these expansions would help create jobs and support local businesses and communities, thus benefiting the economy at large.

Of the 21 analysts covering the stock, 71% recommend a buy. The stock is trading at 12 times its estimated 2011 earnings with estimated upside of 51% in the next one year.

1. Agrium ( AGU), a global producer and marketer of agricultural products with three business units: retail, wholesale and advanced technologies.

Sales were $6.2 billion for the second quarter of 2011, a 40% increase from $4.4 billion in the same quarter prior year. Agrium announced consolidated net earnings of $718 million for the quarter compared with net earnings of $518 million in the year-ago quarter.

On the demand prospects, Mike Wilson, Agrium CEO, commented "Growers in the Eastern U.S. Corn Belt and Western Canada in particular were not able to plant all the acreage, or apply all the nutrients, they would have liked to this spring. Global crop and crop nutrient markets remain tight. The combination of all these factors is expected to bode well for crop input demand this fall and Agrium will be there to provide the products necessary for growers to maximize their yields and returns."

Cash and cash equivalents increased to $966 million at the end of the quarter from $635 million at the end of Dec. 2010. Of the 23 analysts covering the stock, 14 rate it a buy. Analysts suggest an estimated upside of 53% from the current levels and the stock is trading at 7.8 times its estimated 2011 earnings.

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