Drought should benefit Mosaic, analyst says

Analyst puts 'Buy' rating on Mosaic; says fertilizer company should benefit in wake of drought

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Stifel Nicolaus analyst is resuming coverage of The Mosaic Co., noting that the fertilizer company should benefit in wake of the devastating drought.

Analyst Paul A. Massoud on Wednesday issued a "Buy" rating and set a share price target of $73 on the Plymouth, Minn., company. He also predicted 2013 fiscal year earnings of $5.15 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet, on average, predict 2013 earnings of $5.05 per share.

In a research note to clients, Massoud wrote that he expects many farmers to recoup losses due to drought-damage corn through crop insurance policies. He also noted that corn futures have topped $8 per bushel.

In addition, strong demand is expected to continue for ethanol made from corn because economic and logistical factors imply a continuation of ethanol blending for E10 gasoline, the analyst wrote.

Massoud also predicted that potash prices will improve over the next 12 months.

Mosaic produces and markets concentrated phosphate and potash, which are used in crop fertilizers.

Shares of Mosaic fell 54 cents to $57.88 in afternoon trading. The price has ranged from $44.43 to $74 in the past 52 weeks.

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