Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Monsanto intends to improve its business on the back of Bayer’s all-cash buyout deal. However, the deal has yet not passed through any regulatory hurdles. Monsanto’s earnings and revenues are currently hurt due to some major headwinds. Weak agricultural product prices are lowering investments made by farmers, hence weighing the demand for agro-products offered by Monsanto. Moreover, a stronger U.S. dollar is boosting the power of smaller rivals in low-cost nations. Persistence of these two issues would further hamper Monsanto’s results in the quarters ahead. Also, unfavorable climatic conditions or any new government restriction introduced in the usage of genetically modified crops might adversely affect the company’s near term results.”
MON has been the subject of a number of other reports. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised Monsanto from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $104.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 27th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Monsanto in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Piper Jaffray Cos. set a $128.00 price objective on Monsanto and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $112.00 price objective (up from $94.00) on shares of Monsanto in a report on Friday, July 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $118.00 price objective on shares of Monsanto in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $114.67.
Monsanto (NYSE:MON) traded down 0.06% on Friday, hitting $103.44. The company had a trading volume of 250,453 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $104.88 and its 200 day moving average price is $101.34. Monsanto has a one year low of $83.73 and a one year high of $114.26. The company has a market capitalization of $45.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 45.53 and a beta of 1.19.
Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.02) by $0.09. Monsanto had a return on equity of 46.07% and a net margin of 9.89%. The business earned $2.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.38 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted ($0.19) EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Monsanto will post $4.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be given a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. Monsanto’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 71.05%.
In other Monsanto news, CEO Michael K. Stern sold 12,797 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.77, for a total value of $1,302,350.69. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 21,583 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,196,501.91. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 27,980 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.62, for a total transaction of $2,899,287.60. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 102,480 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,618,977.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MON. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake 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 last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake 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 last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake 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 last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake 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 last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors increased its stake 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 last quarter. 79.02% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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