Cargill Making Cuts To Its Workforce

Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural commodities (NYSEARCA:RJA) trader, announced that it would cut its workforce by 1.4% due to the continuing weakness of the global economy. The company said the layoffs would be necessary to “better position itself for growth” according to MarketWatch who cited Mike Fernandez, the company’s vice president of corporate affairs.

MarketWatch quoted Fernandez who said, “As economic conditions change, so must we.”  The company released a statement that said the workforce reductions “are not the outcome of any companywide percentage mandate or uniform across-the-board cut.”  The company said the goal was to ensure that its resources were centered on the activities which provided the most value to the customers per MarketWatch.

Cargill says it will lay off about 2,000 of its 138,000 employees in the next six months. The fiscal first quarter for the company, which ended August 31 marked the second straight quarter of profit declines for the company who says it has been limited by market volatility. Cargill says its focus is now increasing earnings.

Here’s how other top ag stocks are trading on the news:

Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS): MOS shares recently traded at $51.48, up $0.27, or 0.53%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $44.86 to $89.24. Volume today was 1,601,838 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 7,390,120 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 8.41, while trailing earnings are $6.12 per share.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc. (NYSE:POT): POT shares recently traded at $42.74, up $0.45, or 1.06%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $39.54 to $63.97. Volume today was 2,409,706 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 8,358,570 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 12.89, while trailing earnings are $3.32 per share.

Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU): AGU shares recently traded at $70.34, up $1.59, or 2.31%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $60.15 to $99.14. Volume today was 328,704 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,503,160 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 8.41, while trailing earnings are $8.36 per share.

Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL): HRL shares recently traded at $29.27, up $0.28, or 0.97%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $24.52 to $30.50. Volume today was 519,608 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,043,370 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 16.82, while trailing earnings are $1.74 per share.

Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE:SFD): SFD shares recently traded at $24.70, up $0.31, or 1.27%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $17.58 to $24.93. Volume today was 798,625 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,487,570 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 7.84, while trailing earnings are $3.15 per share.

Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE:TSN): TSN shares recently traded at $20.45, up $0.29, or 1.44%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $15.60 to $20.50. Volume today was 510,849 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,695,430 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 10.38, while trailing earnings are $1.97 per share.

More from The Cheat Sheet