CF Industries downgraded on earnings concerns

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A Piper Jaffray analyst downgraded shares of fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings Inc. on Monday, saying the stock is trading at a fair price.

THE OPINION: Analyst Michael Cox lowered his rating to "Neutral" from "Overweight." He said Wall Street expects a strong 2013 for CF, but that view is already factored into CF Industries' stock price. He said the stock won't trade much higher because investors are concerned the company's earnings will peak in 2013 and decline after that. Cox said early forecasts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest corn prices and planting will decline in 2014. That would lead to lower nitrogen fertilizer prices.

Cox lowered his price target on CF Industries' stock to $227 per share from $250.

THE STOCK: Shares of CF Industries lost $4.75, or 2.2 percent, to $209.28 on Monday. As of Friday's closing price the shares were up 39 percent since May 17. The stock reached an all-time high of $227.99 in September.

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