Potash Corp./Saskatchewan Inc. (TSX:POT)(NYSE:POT) has been under pressure in recent weeks and young investors looking for a buy-and-hold-forever company are getting a nice opportunity to pick up the stock.
Here’s why I think Millennials should consider adding Potash Corp. to their portfolios.
1. More mouths, less fields
The planet isn’t growing larger, but the number of people living on it certainly is. Estimates for population growth are all over the map, but there is a general consensus that the world will be forced to accommodate an increasing number of people until at least 2050, with the number of mouths to feed expected to hit nine billion by 2040. Some of the less optimistic predictions suggest the number could hit 11 billion by the middle of the century.
Where are we right now? About 7.2 billion!
All these people need a place to live, so tax-hungry cities are gobbling up farmland at an astounding rate to turn it into suburbs for all the well-off folks who don’t want to raise their kids in a condo.
Demand for crop fertilizers can only go in one direction for the next 35 years because farmers are going to be forced to squeeze as much food as possible out of a constantly dwindling amount of land. If we were going to use the land to grow crops for humans to eat, we might be able to get by, but an increasing number of people are demanding meat, so we have to grow crops to feed the animals before we can feed ourselves.
This isn’t a beef on meat eaters (I love a good steak as much as the next investor); it’s just a statement of the facts.
Anyway, 2050 is 35 years from now, which is just about the time most Millennials will be heading into retirement. In order to ensure a comfortable existence in those golden years, young investors should look for dividend-paying stocks that offer the opportunity for long-term revenue growth.
2. Record potash demand and increasing prices
Global demand for potash hit a record 61 million tonnes in 2014. In its Q4 2014 earnings statement, Potash Corp. said it expects 2015 demand to be 58-60 million tonnes.
That number might end up being a bit conservative because the large price increase that was expected for bulk sales to China in 2015 didn’t materialize. Suppliers were gunning for 10% but they settled for about 3%, which could spur larger demand from countries that have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the deal with China to be announced.
3. Free cash flow windfall
Potash Corp. is in the last inning of a multibillion dollar expansion program. The reduction in capital spending, coupled with a boost in output, should result in truckloads of free cash flow that can be returned to investors in the form of higher dividends and share buybacks.
Should you buy?
Potash Corp. pays a dividend of US$1.52 per share that yields about 4.7%. The stock is trading at 18 times trailing earnings and 3.1 times book value, which are attractive metrics when compared with the five-year averages.
This is one of those companies you can buy today, enroll in the dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP), and forget about for 35 years. The investment should continue to grow at a respectable rate, and if nothing else, you might be able to pay for the $20 loaf of bread when you retire in 2050!
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Fool contributor Andrew Walker owns shares of Potash Corp.