Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Agrium has underperformed the industry it belongs to over the last three months. Agrium is still reeling under the effects of the depressed prices of crop nutrients which is expected to continue to weigh on its sales and earnings. Nitrogen and phosphate prices remain under pressure. The crop pricing environment is also expected to remain soft in the near term. The company also faces challenging agriculture market fundamentals.”

A number of other analysts also recently commented on AGU. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and issued a $116.00 price objective (up previously from $107.00) on shares of Agrium in a research note on Friday, August 11th. TD Securities boosted their price objective on Agrium from $99.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $100.00 price objective on shares of Agrium in a research note on Friday, October 6th. HSBC Holdings plc assumed coverage on Agrium in a research note on Wednesday. They issued a buy rating and a $126.50 price objective on the stock. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $110.00 price objective on Agrium and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $112.50.

Agrium (NYSE:AGU) opened at 107.91 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $14.91 billion, a PE ratio of 26.03 and a beta of 0.62. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $103.93 and a 200 day moving average price of $96.81. Agrium has a 52-week low of $87.82 and a 52-week high of $111.88.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 19th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be given a dividend of $0.875 per share. This represents a $3.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.24%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. Agrium’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 84.34%.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Probity Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Agrium by 0.4% during the second quarter. Probity Advisors Inc. now owns 9,799 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $887,000 after purchasing an additional 41 shares during the period. Verity Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Agrium by 0.9% during the second quarter. Verity Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,630 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $509,000 after purchasing an additional 48 shares during the period. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Agrium by 0.5% during the second quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 18,185 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,646,000 after purchasing an additional 85 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Agrium by 4.8% during the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,247 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $212,000 after purchasing an additional 103 shares during the period. Finally, Comerica Bank raised its position in shares of Agrium by 1.2% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 8,519 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $809,000 after purchasing an additional 103 shares during the period. 66.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Agrium

Agrium Inc is a retailer of agricultural products and services in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay and a multi-national producer and wholesale marketer of nutrients for agricultural and industrial markets. The Company’s segments include Retail and Wholesale. As of December 31, 2016, its Retail business unit marketed crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed, merchandise, application and other agronomic services through 1,500 retail locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.

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