|Bid||65.26 x 1200|
|Ask||67.04 x 1000|
|Day's Range||66.00 - 66.45|
|52 Week Range||54.16 - 67.62|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|YTD Daily Total Return||15.86%|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.96|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.54%|
During his Twitter tirade last week, President Trump mentioned his displeasure with the fact that China has not upped its purchases of U.S. farm products as it promised it would as part of trade talks. Not surprisingly, the VanEck Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSE: MOO) tumbled last week, but with the help of Thursday's 2.32% gain, the lone dedicated agribusiness exchange traded fund is trading modestly higher this week. Agriculture machinery makers, such as Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) and Tractor Supply (NASDAQ: TSCO), are among MOO's top 10 holdings, underscoring the fund's vulnerability in the face of trade tensions in which agriculture is being discussed.
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The latest short interest report on December 18 indicated that Deere’s (DE) short interest has moved above 2% of its outstanding shares, which indicates that the negative sentiment for the stock is rising. Deere’s short interest as a percentage of its outstanding shares increased to 2.1%, which indicates a marginal increase from the previous report. The trend indicates that Deere’s short interest is building when the stock price increases.
Nutrien, which is based in North America, has exposure to all three crop nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The company has a large exposure to potassium fertilizers—unlike CF Industries (CF) and Mosaic (MOS).
Mosaic (MOS) is a dominant player in the phosphate fertilizer segment in North America. Since ammonium-based fertilizers use nitrogen as an input, Mosaic also benefits from low natural gas prices—similar to CF Industries (CF). With Mosaic being one of the best performers in 2018, let’s look at what analysts think about the stock.
The agribusiness sector has largely remained weak in 2018. The agribusiness sector gave up its gains last week when the US and global markets saw a significant sell-off. The VanEck Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO) has fallen 1.8% YTD (year-to-date), while the S&P 500 Index (SPY) has fallen 1.4% during the same period. Let’s look at how three major fertilizer stocks have performed in 2018.
In the fourth quarter, Deere (DE) reported total revenues of $9.42 billion, which included financial services and other revenues. Deere’s revenues from equipment operations were $8.34 billion for the quarter—compared to $7.09 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is a rise of 17.6% YoY (year-over-year). Deere didn’t beat analysts’ estimate of $8.57 billion.
Fertilizer affordability is key for companies including Mosaic (MOS), Nutrien (NTR), CF Industries (CF), and Israel Chemicals (ICL). Higher fertilizer affordability helps increase the demand for fertilizers. When fertilizer prices increase, higher affordability is good for fertilizer demand, which is positive for the earnings growth. Fertilizers became more affordable week-over-week. When the Fertilizer Affordability Index is below one, it suggests that the fertilizer prices were relatively affordable last week compared to the base year of 2005 when Mosaic set the index to one.
Last week, potash prices were broadly flat to positive at the locations discussed below. The potash prices continued to have strong momentum, which is positive for companies (MOO) including Nutrien (NTR), Mosaic (MOS), Israel Chemicals (ICL), and Intrepid Potash (IPI). Let’s look at the price movements in more detail below.
Previously in this series, we discussed how DAP (diammonium phosphate) prices moved in the week ending November 2. The MAP (monoammonium phosphate) prices have also followed a similar trend, which causes concerns for companies (MOO) including Mosaic (MOS), Nutrien (NTR), and Israel Chemicals (ICL).