Thursday, January 27, 2011

Potash (POT) Beats by 12 Cents, Guides 2011 a Bit Higher but Excites Crowd with 3-1 Split

It is always bemusing to watch stocks jump on stock splits which are nothing but an accounting change.  2x more stock at half the price.  Nothing changes but back in 1999 you'd see stocks jump 15-20% on a stock split as long as it was on the NASDAQ.  Some of that behavior still lives.  Potash (POT) reported a solid quarter, with not that exciting guidance, but the 3-1 stock split has helped to stoke excitement.

For the quarter $1.77 v $1.65 expectation, revenues up 65% to $1.81B.  For 2011 the company guides to $8.40 to $9.60, vs current $8.89.  Based on how poorly these fertilizer companies guided in 2008 and 2009 versus a quickly changing market, take everything with a grain of salt. Even assuming Potash hits $10 EPS in 2011, this is a forward PE of 17.5 (forward, not trailing) for an extremely cyclical company.  But increasingly valuation is becoming moot across the market as it was in 1999 - all the central banker liquidity has to go somewhere.  Indeed we shall see that same dilemma in (AMZN) in a few hours.
  • The company said it expects global shipments of potash to reach 55 million metric tons to 60 million metric tons in 2011, up from 52 million tons in 2010. 
  • Potash Corp now expects 2011 potash shipments of 9.5 million to 10 million tonnes. It had earlier forecast sales shipments of 9.3 million tonnes.
  • The company has earmarked $2.0 billion for capital expenditures in 2011, with $1.4 billion going to potash expansion projects.
  • The company will pay out the stock split to shareholders in the form of a stock dividend, with each receiving two additional shares for each one owned on the record date of Feb. 16. 
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