) has inked a deal with Koch Agronomic Services, LLC, an affiliate
of Koch Fertilizer, LLC, to divest its turf and ornamental
business. The deal is valued at around $85 million including
The turf and ornamental business, which is a part of Agrium's
former Agrium Advanced Technologies (AAT) group, offers controlled
release fertilizers for horticulture, professional turf grass and
consumer lawn and garden markets. As per Agrium, the divestment is
part of a strategic review of the business completed last year with
regards to the discontinued operations of the AAT unit. The
transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014
subject to customary closing conditions.
Agrium will remain focussed on optimising its portfolio and product
lines to generate additional value for our shareholders.
Agrium released its first-quarter 2014 results a few days ago. The
company's profit tumbled in the quarter as unusually cold weather
in North America hit its businesses. Reduced railway availability
and lower prices for nutrients in the wholesale business also
weighed on the bottom line.
Agrium posted profit from continuing operations of $12 million or 8
cents per share in the reported quarter, a roughly 92% fall from
$146 million or 98 cents per share logged a year ago.
Agrium registered a gain of $32 million (or 16 cents per share) on
natural gas hedge positions in the quarter. Excluding that impact
(and treating stock-based compensation as a normal expense), loss
from continuing operations came in at 8 cents per share. Analysts
polled by Zacks were expecting earnings of 4 cents per share on an
Revenues slipped 2% year over year to $3,079 million in the
reported quarter. The decline was due to a double-digit drop in
wholesale sales as a result of lower realized prices. Sales,
however, edged past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,072 million.
Agrium, which is among the prominent fertilizer companies along
), sees adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $3.85 to
$4.35 per share for the second quarter.
Agrium currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A better-ranked stock in the fertilizer space is
CVR Partners, LP
), holding a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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