CF Industries Holdings Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (CF)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- CF Industries Holdings (NYSE: CF) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A- . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • CF INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS INC has improved earnings per share by 34.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CF INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $22.05 versus $4.90 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($27.50 versus $22.05).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Chemicals industry average. The net income increased by 21.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $330.90 million to $403.30 million.
  • CF's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.29 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, CF has a quick ratio of 2.15, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, CF INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, CF Industries, Inc., manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products, serving agricultural and industrial customers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Nitrogen and Phosphate. CF has a market cap of $13.85 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full CF Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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