Shares of FMC Corp. (FMC) continue to rally at a torrid pace. Shares hit a new 52-week high in Thursday's trading session, boosting the stock's total gains to 53% so far in 2017. Over the past year, FMC stock has rallied an impressive 85%.
TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer, who also manages the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio, has been a big champion of FMC stock, particularly after its deal with DuPont (DD) , which netted FMC a fabulous agriculture business at a terrific price.
FMC got a great business because DuPont needed to ease regulatory concerns after its announced tie-up with Dow Chemical (DOW) . FMC Corp. landed this Ag business at the perfect time, Cramer said, as the whole industry has been on fire as of late. It also helps explain why certain stocks -- like Deere & Co. (DE) -- have been doing so well.
The agriculture business is doing "absolutely terrific" for FMC, he added. As a noteworthy side note, the DD-DOW deal is scheduled to be completed on Thursday after the market close.
But Ag isn't all that FMC has, as Cramer pointed out; it's got a lithium business as well. Lithium has been in high demand, thanks to the continually growing demand for batteries and particularly due to the growth in electric vehicles. Earlier, Cramer broke down how FMC may go about spinning this business off, something management likely plans to do.
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So what's helping the stock hit new 52-week highs Thursday? It's likely the upgrade to buy from underperform by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Byrne. He also raised his price target to $103 from $65, a level FMC stock is now more than $20 per share above.
The underperform rating was "an ill-advised position that they took," Cramer reasoned, pointing out that the analyst sees positive developments in both the Ag and lithium businesses. "This is a new FMC, and it's a better FMC," Cramer said, before arguing that the stock could go to $100, up from its current price of $86.25.
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