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Safco Gains Most This Year on Recommended Dividend: Riyadh Mover

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co. advanced the most in seven months after the company’s board recommended distributing a first-half dividend of 6 riyals per share.

Safco, as the fertilizer maker is known, gained 3.9 percent, the most since Dec. 8, to 152.75 riyals at the close in Riyadh. The stock was the biggest gainer on the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index, which lost 0.3 percent. The shares have increased 0.3 percent this year compared with a 13 percent jump for the benchmark gauge.

The company, which announced a cash and stock dividend in the year-earlier period, will post a 3 percent drop in second-quarter profit, the mean estimate of eight analysts on Bloomberg shows. The price of urea, which is a source of nitrogen used by farmers to boost crops, has declined 12 percent this year.

“The dividend yield on the stock remains attractive,” Ankit Gupta, Dubai-based equity analyst and assistant vice president of research at NBK Capital, said in an e-mailed comment. “However, the urea market fundamentals remain weak.”

Five analysts have a buy rating on Safco, while ten recommend investors hold the stock and one advises investors to sell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Deema Almashabi in Riyadh at dalmashabi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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