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Why Is Nutrien (NTR) Down 2.4% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Nutrien (NTR). Shares have lost about 2.4% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Nutrien due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Nutrien's Earnings and Sales Surpass Estimates in Q3

Nutrien logged profits of $726 million or $1.25 per share in third-quarter 2021 versus a loss of $587 million or $1.03 in the year-ago quarter.

Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were $1.38. The bottom line topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.23.

Sales rose roughly 43.3% year over year to $6,024 million in the quarter. The figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,742 million. The company benefited from higher sales across all the segments, driven by strategic actions and strong demand for crop inputs in the reported quarter.

Segment Highlights

Sales in the Nutrien Ag Solutions segment rose about 22% year over year to $3,347 million in the quarter. Sales of crop nutrients increased significantly in the quarter on record sales volumes and higher prices. Sales of crop protection products also increased owing to higher selling prices, market share growth and higher proprietary product sales.

Potash division’s sales increased around 101% year over year to $1,188 million driven by higher sales volumes and higher net realized selling prices. Sales volumes in the segment were driven by reliable supply as well as integrated transportation and logistics system. The selling prices increased on the back of higher demand and tight supply.

Sales in the Nitrogen segment were $973 million, up around 121% year over year. The upside can be attributed to higher net realized selling prices, which offset increased natural gas costs. Sales volume increased due to strong market demand and higher availability from its facility. Prices of nitrogen rose on strength in global agriculture markets, recovery in industrial nitrogen demand, global production outages and higher energy prices in major nitrogen exporting regions.

Sales in the Phosphate segment were $401 million, up around 51% year over year on the back of higher net realized selling prices. Sales volumes fell partly due to the timing of sales.

Financials

At the end of the quarter, Nutrien had cash and cash equivalents of $443 million, down around 4.7% year over year. Long-term debt rose modestly year over year to $10,094 million.

The company generated $2.8 billion in free cash flow in the first three quarters of 2021.

Outlook

The company raised its adjusted EPS and adjusted EBITDA guidance to $5.85-$6.10 (previously $4.6-$5.1) and $6.9-$7.1 billion (previously $6-$6.4 billion), respectively, for full-year 2021. It expects strong demand for crop inputs in the fourth quarter as well as tight global fertilizer supply and demand fundamentals to continue into 2022.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 36.65% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Nutrien has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with a D. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. It comes with little surprise Nutrien has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.


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