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Agrium (AGU) Completes Urea Plant Construction at Borger


Agrium Inc. AGU concluded the construction of a urea plant at its Borger, TX nitrogen facility. The construction has been successfully completed within the revised time frame and budget.

Agrium expects to produce 610,000 tons of urea at the new plant, of which 100,000 tons will be Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). Production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2017. With the production of DEF, the company aims to diversify its end markets. DEF helps diesel vehicles to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

Agrium aims to increase shareholder value by improving its facilities and diversifying end markets.

Shares of Agrium inched up roughly 0.4% to close at $102.91 on Jan 10.

Over the past three months, Agrium has underperformed the Zacks categorized Fertilizers industry, with the company gaining 15.6% while the industry recorded growth of 19%. This reflects the lower-than-expected earnings performance in the last quarter and pricing headwinds.

However, the company remains on track with its proposed merger with Potash Corporation POT to create a fertilizer giant with an enterprise value of $36 billion. Shareholders of both the companies are in favor of the merger which is expected to create significant synergies in terms of lower costs and high-value products. Roughly $250 million of these synergies are expected to be achieved by the end of the first year following the completion of the transaction.

Zacks Rank

Agrium currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked companies in the basic materials space include The Chemours Company CC and FMC Corp. FMC.

Chemours, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has an expected long-term growth rate of 15.50%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

FMC Corp has a long-term growth rate of 10.88% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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