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BMO analyst cuts rating for CF Industries

NEW YORK (AP) -- A BMO Capital Markets analyst on Tuesday downgraded CF Industries Holdings Inc., saying that it's unlikely that the fertilizer company's shares will rise much any time soon.

THE OPINION: Joel Jackson cut his rating to "Market Perform" from "Outperform" and lowered his price target by $10 to $225. He said that while the company's sales volumes aren't at risk, it still faces tough earnings comparisons this year, with nitrogen prices unlikely to match 2012's levels.

"CF was a clear winner for most of 2012 as the long corn and short gas trade played out, but we believe the stock will be challenged to move beyond 2012 peaks," Jackson wrote in a note to investors.

In addition, significant stock buybacks will likely be pushed back to next year as the company focuses its cash on capital spending projects, Jackson said.

THE SHARES: Down $2.62 to $207.47 in midday trading. Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have traded between $154.17 and $227.99.