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Agrium Partners Actagro to Market Agro Health Products

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Agrium Inc.’s (AGU) subsidiary, Loveland Products, Inc., and Actagro LLC recently inked an agreement for commercialization and technology development of soil and plant health nutritional products based on the Actagro Organic Acids Technology Platform. Through the agreement, Loveland Products, a global producer of high-performance agro inputs, has secured extended rights for distribution, commercialization and development of the platform in Eastern U.S., Canada and Australia.

Shares of Agrium rose 0.8% during the trading session following the announcement. The stock  has delivered a healthy one-year return of 13.6%.

The Actagro technology platform will not only help Loveland Products to expand its product portfolio but will also refurbish both its existing and future products. Loveland Products strives to provide a wide range of plant health nutrition products through its consolidated Agrium Retail Channel in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Moreover, the collaboration with Actagro would help Loveland provide modern solutions for agriculture to its customers.

Additionally, Loveland Products would be able to venture into new regions by leveraging this agreement where the organic acid-based solutions will boost the crop quality and generate higher yields.

Agrium topped expectations in second-quarter 2014 on record performance by its retail business, boosted by the acquisition of Viterra Inc.’s retail operations across Canada and Australia. It follows a strategy to grow along the value chain through a combination of acquisitions and organic development.

Agrium is expected to gain from overall strong fundamentals of the agriculture and crop input market. Moreover, the company is expected to see strong demand for crop protection products through the rest of 2014.

Agrium is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials sector worth considering are Green Plains Inc. (GPRE), Yara International ASA (YARIY) and BioAmber Inc. (BIOA). While Green Plains sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Yara International and BioAmber have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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