Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded shares of Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) from an underperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. Sanford C. Bernstein currently has $105.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $82.81.
MON has been the topic of several other research reports. Jefferies Group reiterated a buy rating on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Piper Jaffray Cos. set a $128.00 price target on Monsanto and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a neutral rating and set a $112.00 price target (up previously from $94.00) on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Friday, July 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Monsanto from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a buy rating and set a $118.00 price target on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $113.73.
Shares of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) opened at 102.48 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $44.84 billion, a PE ratio of 45.11 and a beta of 1.24. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $105.60 and its 200 day moving average price is $100.83. Monsanto has a 52-week low of $82.97 and a 52-week high of $114.26.
Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.17 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.40 by $0.23. Monsanto had a return on equity of 37.98% and a net margin of 7.76%. The business had revenue of $4.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.49 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $2.39 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Monsanto will post $4.46 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. Monsanto’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 89.26%.
In other Monsanto news, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 27,980 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.62, for a total transaction of $2,899,287.60. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 102,480 shares in the company, valued at $10,618,977.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Michael K. Stern sold 12,797 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.77, for a total value of $1,302,350.69. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 21,583 shares in the company, valued at $2,196,501.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MON. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Monsanto by 1.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 30,430,570 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,146,826,000 after buying an additional 389,914 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its position in Monsanto by 0.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 18,623,044 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,634,002,000 after buying an additional 173,201 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its position in Monsanto by 41.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 16,593,757 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,715,960,000 after buying an additional 4,851,499 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in Monsanto by 0.3% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 14,893,956 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,540,185,000 after buying an additional 38,316 shares during the period. Finally, Capital International Investors boosted its position in Monsanto by 6.2% in the second quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 8,187,701 shares of the company’s stock worth $846,690,000 after buying an additional 476,848 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 79.06% of the company’s stock.
Monsanto Company (Monsanto), along with its subsidiaries, is a provider of agricultural products for farmers. The Company provides seeds, biotechnology trait products, herbicides and precision agriculture tools to farmers. The Company operates through two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity.
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