As part of the ongoing focus on optimizing business, Agrium Inc. (AGU - Analyst Report) has completed a strategic review of its Agrium Advanced Technologies (“AAT”) business unit.
Under the review process, Agrium will reestablish the Advanced Technologies (AAT) business unit into two separate units, Wholesale and Retail in the first quarter of 2014.
The Wholesale business unit of Agrium will include AAT's agriculture business, which comprises Environmentally Smart Nitrogen ("ESN") and micronutrients. This will help Agrium effectively leverage the Wholesale segment’s manufacturing and distribution line-up.
Prior to the creation of AAT, both micro-nutrients and ESN businesses belonged to Agrium’s Wholesale department. Even after this business structure alteration, ESN will remain a premium product of Agrium, given the strong surge in demand for this industry leading and environmentally-friendly product.
The Turf and Ornamental and Direct Solutions businesses of Agrium will also undergo strategic review. The review may end up with all possible options, including divesture of the business units. The final review on these business units is expected to be complete by the first half of 2014.
Further insight on the development of the review, including the impact of any reorganization cost, will be provided by Agrium as it works through the transition in the next few months.
Agrium plans to execute this transition process seamlessly with minimum business disruption for customers, suppliers and employees. The restructuring is expected to have a positive impact on Agrium's earnings.
Agrium currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked companies in the fertilizer industry include The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. (SMG - Snapshot Report), China Bluechip and CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF - Analyst Report). While The Scotts Miracle and China Bluechip sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), CF Industries retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).