Thoughts on Compass Minerals
Compass Minerals has been quite good to me. I bought a small stake in the upper $30s. In mid 2008, the stock got caught up in the potash mania and hit $80. I sold about half my shares. It then tanked to under $50 (and under $40 some times). Now, it's hit nearly $70.
Compass' primary business is salt. Its salt mine in Goderich, Ontario, is perfectly positioned to serve the Midwest because of proximity. Due to weight, it's more expensive to ship salt in from elsewhere. Compass' secondary fertilizer business cannot help but rebound at some point. I think there will be a secular rise in fertilizer demand due to increasing living standards around the globe. However, if fertilizer prices return to their previous levels, then I think Compass is about fairly valued right now.
Overall, this is one of my favorite companies. Morningstar considers it a buy under $60.