) wholly-owned subsidiary Agrium US Inc.'s $1 billion commercial
paper (CP) program has been assigned a Prime-2 rating by Moody's
Investors Service. The CP program will be used for general
corporate purposes. Agrium US is a direct borrower under the CP
program and a guarantor on any borrowings by Agrium under this
Similarly, Agrium is the guarantor for any CP borrowings by
Agrium US. The CP program is backed by the two companies' $2.5
billion multi-jurisdictional revolving credit facility, set to
mature in 2017. It also has a $500 million swingline to provide
same day availability for funds in New York. Both Agrium and
Agrium US are unlimited and unconditional guarantors of the
revolving credit facility.
Last month, Agrium released its third-quarter 2013 results.
The company's profit for the quarter dropped 41% year over year
to $76 million or 52 cents per share from $129 million or 80
cents a year ago.
The results were affected by lower sales prices for urea,
phosphate and potash and production outages across Agrium's
Redwater and Carseland nitrogen facilities. Moreover, uncertain
fertilizer market conditions coupled with late growing season in
North America, which caused delayed crop nutrient purchases, also
contributed to the declined results.
Excluding one-time items other than stock-based payments,
earnings of 61 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of 59 cents. Adjusted earnings exclude write-down on Agrium's
Hanfeng Evergreen Inc. investment and loss on hedge
Moving ahead, lost production due to nitrogen plant outages is
expected to impact sales volumes in the fourth quarter and reduce
earnings for the quarter by 20 cents per share. Agrium expects
earnings (excluding items) for the fourth quarter in the band of
80 cents to $1.25 per share.
AGRIUM INC (AGU): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Agrium currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other companies in the fertilizer and related industries with
favorable Zacks Rank include
China Bluechip ADR
The Andersons, Inc.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
). While China and The Andersons carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy), Scotts Miracle-Gro holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).