Market Wrap-Up for Feb.9 (RL, DIS, AGU, IR, CSC, NYX, NOK, AAPL, more)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was on the hot seat today as he gave his annual Washington presentations. With the markets being significantly higher than they were this time last year, he was certainly feeling better about some of the recent data. Some of his statements pointed to increased evidence that a self-sustaining recovery in consumer and business spending may be taking hold. Also, real consumer spending rose at an annual rate of more than 4 percent in the fourth quarter. There is no question that we have been seeing economic stabilization, and the markets have certainly been pricing stocks as if the lift can be sustained. We actually made some ratings changes this morning, removing four names from our recommended list. We continue to see opportunities in the market, but we are also aware that some names may just not have the risk/reward profile we are searching for, so we need to make changes when we see fit. You can check out the post if you did not read the e-mail alert we sent out to Premium members earlier. The markets were moving sideways early on, but some sellers did show up in certain areas, especially the commodity names. Earnings were in play today with buyers jumping at positive news from Polo Ralph Lauren ( RL ), Walt Disney ( DIS ), Syngenta ( SYT ) and Agrium ( AGU ). On the flip side, it wasn’t a great day for shares of Computer Sciences ( CSC ) or Ingersoll-Rand ( IR ) following both companies’ less-than-stellar results. Also, shares of NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) were halted for some time, but then popped higher when the stock was released for trading on reports the exchange was involved in merger talks with the Deutsche Börse. Interesting story making the rounds this morning about Nokia’s ( NOK ) CEO sending out a reality check memo overnight to everyone in the company. The memo details how the company has lost its way, with rivals Apple ( AAPL ) and Google ( GOOG ) eating their lunch. It’s a real admission that change needs to happen quickly or the company’s future could quickly dim further. I couldn’t help but think of how this relates to the many people that still today have not taken the financial steps to safeguard their later years (whether you are 5,10,20,or 30 …

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Strong Demand Propels Agrium’s Q4 Earnings Beat (AGU)

Filed in Agrium, dividend, earnings, Gold, Gold Bullion prices, o, revenue, shares by on February 9, 2011 0 Comments

Fertilizer maker Agrium Inc. ( AGU ) on Wednesday posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings results, as higher crop prices fueled demand for its products. The Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based company reported fourth quarter net income of $158 million, or $1 per share, compared with just $30 million, or 19 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Exlcuding one-time items, adjusted profit was $1.38 per share. Revenue surged 63% from last year to $2.35 billion. On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of $1.15 per share, on much lower revenue of $1.86 billion. Agrium shares rose $1.37, or +1.5%, in premarket trading Wednesday. The Bottom Line Shares of Agrium ( AGU ) have a .12% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $93.43. The stock has technical support in the $85-$88 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $100 price level. Agrium Inc. ( AGU ) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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Potash Corp (NYSE:POT), CF Industries (NYSE:CF), Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI), Agrium (NYSE:AGU) in 2010

Filed in Agrium, CF Industries, Intrepid Potash, Mosaic, o, potash corp, silver by on January 3, 2011 0 Comments

The fertilizer sector was among one of the hottest in 2010, largely on the increased price of corn, although other grains were helpful as well. Companies like Potash Corp (NYSE:POT), CF Industries (NYSE:CF), Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI) and Agrium (NYSE:AGU) pushed up on expectations the higher margins would give farmers extra capital to acquire more fertilizers. Mosaic ended

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