Before Monday’s opening bell, CF Industries (CF) was upgraded at Piper Jaffray. Here’s what the move means for mutual fund investors.
Inside the Analyst Move
The firm has upgraded CF Industries from “Neutral” to “Overweight” and has boosted its price target from $271 to $327. This new price target suggests a 17% upside from the stock’s current price.
In addition, the firm has raised its FY2015 earnings estimates to a range of $21.08 to $22.79 per share and its FY2016 outlook to a range of $27.12 to $27.26 per share.
According to analyst Brett Wong: “We are upgrading shares of CF to Overweight from Neutral as we believe nitrogen nutrient fundamentals look favorable in 2015 and CF is poised to benefit from higher capacity and an improved FCF in FY16. We expect another strong corn planting in the U.S. of ~90M acres, which supports strong demand for nitrogen, specifically urea and UAN as farmers move to dry application and more side-dress. Natural gas prices have declined ~35% over the past month as global energy prices have declined and the forward curve suggests ongoing lower prices, which provides significant upside to our model. Looking out to FY16, we favor CF shares as key capacity expansion projects come online and as the FCF profile improves, which we believe provides opportunity for management to continue to buyback stock. We believe the multiple is set to expand and our price target increases to $327 using 12x FY16E EPS.”
Good Commodity Pick for Fund Managers
There have been few commodity plays that have outperformed and that have been attractive to investors and fund managers. CF rose around 20% in 2014 and could be a solid pick for fund managers. We see this stock as a decently valued pick for aggressive investors. This stock is not ideal for conservative or income-focused investors as it is a higher beta stock with larger price swings.
Mutual Funds to Watch
Investors seeking exposure to CF may also consider a mutual fund investment as an alternative to investing directly in the stock. The funds below currently have the largest stakes in the company.
|VMCIX||Vanguard Mid Cap Index||1.75%|
|VTSMX||Vanguard Total Stock Market Index||1.66%|
The Bottom Line
The funds above allow investors to gain exposure to CF while remaining diversified. Investors interested in CF may also be interested in Agrium (AGU).