Lazard Asset Management LLC Buys New Position in Agrium Inc. (AGU)

Lazard Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor acquired 582,289 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $55,636,000.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI increased its position in shares of Agrium by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 6,532 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $657,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the period. World Asset Management Inc increased its position in shares of Agrium by 1.0% in the first quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 8,607 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $822,000 after buying an additional 86 shares during the period. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd increased its position in shares of Agrium by 3.2% in the first quarter. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd now owns 3,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $285,000 after buying an additional 92 shares during the period. Comerica Bank increased its position in shares of Agrium by 1.2% in the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 8,519 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $809,000 after buying an additional 103 shares during the period. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Agrium by 4.8% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,247 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $212,000 after buying an additional 103 shares during the period. 69.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Agrium (NYSE:AGU)

Shares of Agrium Inc. (AGU) traded down 0.21% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $93.70. The company had a trading volume of 611,358 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $92.06 and its 200-day moving average price is $97.74. The company has a market capitalization of $12.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.33 and a beta of 0.67. Agrium Inc. has a 52 week low of $87.62 and a 52 week high of $111.88.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be issued a $0.875 dividend. This represents a $3.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 28th. Agrium’s payout ratio is currently 83.14%.

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Several equities analysts have commented on the company. Scotiabank reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and issued a $110.00 price objective on shares of Agrium in a research report on Tuesday, May 2nd. Citigroup Inc. cut their price objective on Agrium from $104.00 to $100.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $100.00 price objective on shares of Agrium in a research report on Wednesday, April 5th. TD Securities set a $99.00 price objective on Agrium and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $91.00 price objective on shares of Agrium in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Agrium presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $103.92.

Agrium Company Profile

Agrium Inc is a retailer of agricultural products and services in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay and a multi-national producer and wholesale marketer of nutrients for agricultural and industrial markets. The Company’s segments include Retail and Wholesale. As of December 31, 2016, its Retail business unit marketed crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed, merchandise, application and other agronomic services through 1,500 retail locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.

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