Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of CF Industries (NYSE:CF) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “CF Industries has a negative record of earnings surprise in last few quarters. The company is exposed to challenging agriculture market fundamentals. The prevailing softness in agricultural commodity pricing is a concern for fertilizer companies as it is hindering fertilizer use by farmers given the adverse effect of lower crop pricing on growers’ income. Moreover, it remains exposed to pricing pressure. Urea prices have been under pressure as high supply levels in the global nitrogen market due to capacity additions are putting pressure on pricing. Its debt-laden balance sheet remains a concern.”

CF has been the topic of several other research reports. UBS Group reissued a buy rating and set a $40.00 price target (up previously from $33.00) on shares of CF Industries in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Cowen increased their price target on shares of CF Industries from $27.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. initiated coverage on shares of CF Industries in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. They set a hold rating and a $36.30 price target on the stock. Stephens initiated coverage on shares of CF Industries in a research report on Monday, December 4th. They set an equal weight rating and a $38.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 price target on shares of CF Industries and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. CF Industries presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $35.35.

CF Industries (NYSE:CF) traded down $0.20 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $43.52. 2,260,500 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,418,456. CF Industries has a 52 week low of $25.04 and a 52 week high of $43.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 1.71 and a quick ratio of 1.51. The firm has a market capitalization of $10,150.00, a PE ratio of -23.78, a P/E/G ratio of 27.59 and a beta of 1.21.

CF Industries (NYSE:CF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The basic materials company reported ($0.39) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.35) by ($0.04). The business had revenue of $870.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $733.63 million. CF Industries had a negative return on equity of 2.29% and a negative net margin of 10.95%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.13 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that CF Industries will post -0.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other CF Industries news, Director Stephen A. Furbacher sold 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.00, for a total value of $126,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 50,854 shares in the company, valued at $1,830,744. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Bert A. Frost sold 7,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.50, for a total transaction of $273,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 67,232 shares in the company, valued at $2,453,968. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CF. American Century Companies Inc. purchased a new position in CF Industries in the second quarter valued at approximately $282,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of CF Industries by 8.3% during the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,648 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $130,000 after acquiring an additional 355 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC grew its position in shares of CF Industries by 17.9% during the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 23,648 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $661,000 after acquiring an additional 3,583 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of CF Industries by 14.4% during the second quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 14,715 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $411,000 after acquiring an additional 1,851 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacad Investment Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of CF Industries during the second quarter worth approximately $126,000.

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About CF Industries

CF Industries Holdings, Inc manufactures and distributes nitrogen fertilizer, and other nitrogen products. The Company’s nitrogen fertilizer products are ammonia, granular urea, urea ammonium nitrate solution (UAN) and ammonium nitrate (AN). Its other nitrogen products include diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), urea liquor, nitric acid and aqua ammonia, which are sold primarily to the Company’s industrial customers, and compound fertilizer products (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium or NPKs).

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