Vanguard Group Inc. Buys 156,575 Shares of Agrium Inc. (AGU)

Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) by 5.0% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 3,294,304 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 156,575 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. owned about 2.38% of Agrium worth $298,101,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Probity Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Agrium by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Probity Advisors Inc. now owns 9,799 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $887,000 after acquiring an additional 41 shares during the last quarter. Verity Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Agrium by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Verity Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,630 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $509,000 after acquiring an additional 48 shares during the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Agrium by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 18,185 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,646,000 after acquiring an additional 85 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Agrium by 4.8% in the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,247 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $212,000 after acquiring an additional 103 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank lifted its stake in shares of Agrium by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 8,519 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $809,000 after acquiring an additional 103 shares during the last quarter. 66.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on AGU shares. AltaCorp Capital reissued a “sector perform” rating on shares of Agrium in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $110.00 target price on shares of Agrium in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Agrium from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Scotiabank raised Agrium from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $110.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $107.00 price target (down previously from $114.00) on shares of Agrium in a report on Monday, July 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $110.40.

Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) opened at 105.78 on Wednesday. Agrium Inc. has a one year low of $87.78 and a one year high of $111.88. The stock has a market cap of $14.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.52 and a beta of 0.62. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $103.05 and its 200-day moving average price is $96.57.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 19th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be paid a $0.875 dividend. This represents a $3.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 28th. Agrium’s payout ratio is currently 84.34%.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Agrium (NYSE:AGU)

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