Financial Analysis: Agrium (AGU) versus Its Peers

Agrium (NYSE: AGU) is one of 28 publicly-traded companies in the “Agricultural Chemicals” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Agrium to similar businesses based on the strength of its institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, valuation, dividends and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

Agrium has a beta of 0.62, meaning that its stock price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Agrium’s peers have a beta of 0.95, meaning that their average stock price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Agrium and its peers revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Agrium $13.56 billion $1.62 billion 25.48
Agrium Competitors $3.75 billion $756.62 million 14.92

Agrium has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Agrium is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

66.4% of Agrium shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 49.0% of shares of all “Agricultural Chemicals” companies are held by institutional investors. 16.0% of shares of all “Agricultural Chemicals” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Agrium and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Agrium 4.22% 9.69% 3.54%
Agrium Competitors -533.64% -14.43% -9.07%

Dividends

Agrium pays an annual dividend of $3.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Agrium pays out 84.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Agricultural Chemicals” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.9% and pay out 71.7% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Agrium has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Agrium and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Agrium 0 6 8 0 2.57
Agrium Competitors 176 728 883 31 2.42

Agrium presently has a consensus target price of $110.40, suggesting a potential upside of 4.42%. As a group, “Agricultural Chemicals” companies have a potential upside of 4.63%. Given Agrium’s peers higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Agrium has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Summary

Agrium beats its peers on 10 of the 15 factors compared.

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. Its Wholesale business unit manufactures, mines and markets a range of nutrients, including nitrogen-based, potash and phosphate-based crop nutrient products. As of December 31, 2016, its Wholesale business unit owned and operated five North American nitrogen facilities, four located in Alberta, Canada and one in Borger, Texas, United States.

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