Looking for a new stock to add to your portfolio? How about a stock that could benefit from hybrid battery growth and an expanding world population to feed? Or has significant exposure to emerging markets? One stock, Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile
About 70% of SQM's revenues are from fertilizers. The most important of these are potassium nitrate and SQM's other specialty plant nutrients, which are used for fruit and vegetable crops. It also sells potassium chloride, a market where fertilizer behemoth PotashCorp
While the food needs of a growing population should make the fertilizer market attractive in the long term, pricing and demand are volatile, and can cause major swings in revenue as evidenced by SQM's 24% decrease in revenues in the first nine months of 2009 vs. 2008.
In addition to its fertilizer business, SQM is the world's largest producer of lithium, a key input in the batteries that power hybrid cars, as well as the cell phones and laptops we can't live without. While lithium represents a small part of SQM's current business -- 8% of revenues for the first nine months of 2009 -- the battery market shows much promise, as automakers such as Ford
Finally, SQM offers investors significant emerging-markets exposure. Roughly 45% of SQM's total sales are to emerging markets, with much of that coming from South America and Asia.
Priced at about 30 times 2010 earnings estimates, SQM is no bargain, but this Fool thinks a possible triple play makes it worth a look, especially at a lower stock price. Keep an eye open for the company's fourth-quarter earnings report after market close tomorrow and in the meantime, let me know what your thoughts are on SQM in the comments section below.
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Fool contributor April Taylor does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Ford Motor is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.