Why Potash (POT) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (POT) are up 2.48% to $34.73 on Tuesday afternoon.

The fertilizer and feed company's stock began to rise following a report from Globe and the Mail suggesting BHP Billiton (BHP) is looking to make another bid for the company.

In 2010, Billiton, a natural resources company, tried unsuccessfully to buy Potash for $38.5 billion.

Management at Potash and the governments of Saskatchewan and Canada opposed the sale.

According to Globe and the Mail, owning Potash would be the best way for Billiton to get into the business. The publication also notes the deal is "not a sure thing."

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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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. 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:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.41, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that POT's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.65, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • 38.74% 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 14.92% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • POT, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 12.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.2%. 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 45.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $421.00 million to $230.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $656.00 million or 24.77% 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: POT Ratings Report

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