Like watching grass grow, Agrium Inc. is taking root on Tuesday, one day after its investor day at the NYSE, where the fertilizer giant indicated second-quarter profit would be at, or slightly above, the upper end of its previous guidance of $1.45-to-$1.55 (U.S.) a fully diluted share. "This is a welcomed change to the serial negative preannouncements throughout 2006 and a solid step to recapturing investor interest in the stock," writes Citigroup analyst Brian Yu. The company appears to have resolved many of the operating issues that dragged earnings in the second half last year, he adds. The stock is trading at $43.77 on NYSE, up $1.46 or 3.5 per cent. On Monday, it gained 0.3 per cent, its seventh increase in a row. RBC Dominion Securities analyst Fai Lee quotes the brass at Calgary's Agrium as discounting the potential for an imminent private equity transaction or splitting off the retail business. "We generally agree with management's view that growth with reduced earnings volatility could lead to a step change in Agrium's valuation," provided the company demonstrates "visibility of its future earnings." RBC rates the stock "sector perform," with a price target of $43 (U.S.). Mr. Yu figures that based on his commodity price forecasts, the stock is "fairly valued" at his $45 target and "hold" rating.