CF Industries (CF) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of CF Industries (NYSE:CF) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “CF Industries has a negative record of earnings surprise in last few quarters. The company is exposed to challenging agriculture market fundamentals. The prevailing softness in agricultural commodity pricing is a concern for fertilizer companies as it is hindering fertilizer use by farmers given the adverse effect of lower crop pricing on growers’ income. Moreover, it remains exposed to pricing pressure. Urea prices have been under pressure as high supply levels in the global nitrogen market due to capacity additions are putting pressure on pricing. Its debt-laden balance sheet remains a concern.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Royal Bank of Canada increased their target price on CF Industries from $23.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock an underperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Atlantic Securities lowered CF Industries from a neutral rating to an underweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on CF Industries from $38.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 target price on CF Industries and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Stephens began coverage on CF Industries in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They set an equal weight rating and a $38.00 target price on the stock. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $35.35.

CF Industries (NYSE:CF) traded down $0.20 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $43.52. The stock had a trading volume of 2,260,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,418,456. The stock has a market cap of $10,150.00, a PE ratio of -23.78, a PEG ratio of 27.59 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a current ratio of 1.71, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. CF Industries has a fifty-two week low of $25.04 and a fifty-two week high of $43.98.

CF Industries (NYSE:CF) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The basic materials company reported ($0.39) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.35) by ($0.04). CF Industries had a negative return on equity of 2.29% and a negative net margin of 10.95%. The firm had revenue of $870.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $733.63 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.13 EPS. CF Industries’s revenue was up 27.9% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that CF Industries will post -0.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Bert A. Frost sold 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.50, for a total transaction of $273,750.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 67,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,453,968. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Stephen A. Furbacher sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.00, for a total value of $126,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 50,854 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,830,744. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CF. Capital World Investors grew its stake in CF Industries by 21.4% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 15,203,728 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $425,096,000 after buying an additional 2,675,809 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in CF Industries during the second quarter valued at approximately $35,108,000. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans raised its stake in CF Industries by 12,161.3% during the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 1,050,790 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $29,380,000 after buying an additional 1,042,220 shares in the last quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC raised its stake in CF Industries by 190.0% during the third quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC now owns 1,116,525 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $39,256,000 after buying an additional 731,525 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Anchor Bolt Capital LP raised its stake in CF Industries by 679.0% during the third quarter. Anchor Bolt Capital LP now owns 711,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $25,007,000 after buying an additional 619,928 shares in the last quarter.

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About CF Industries

CF Industries Holdings, Inc manufactures and distributes nitrogen fertilizer, and other nitrogen products. The Company’s nitrogen fertilizer products are ammonia, granular urea, urea ammonium nitrate solution (UAN) and ammonium nitrate (AN). Its other nitrogen products include diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), urea liquor, nitric acid and aqua ammonia, which are sold primarily to the Company’s industrial customers, and compound fertilizer products (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium or NPKs).

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