Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded shares of Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. They currently have $104.00 price objective on the stock.
“The proposed deal now faces regulatory review, which MON believes should be benign due to limited product overlap with Bayer AG (ADR) (OTC: BAYRY). Nonetheless, investors appear to taking a wait and see approach as evidenced by a significant spread between today’s closing price ($102) and the deal price ($128),,” the firm’s analyst commented.
MON has been the topic of several other reports. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Monsanto in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Piper Jaffray Cos. set a $128.00 price target on Monsanto and gave the stock 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. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $114.31.
Shares of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) traded down 0.07% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $102.18. The stock had a trading volume of 1,018,426 shares. The firm has a market cap of $44.71 billion, a PE ratio of 44.97 and a beta of 1.24. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $105.47 and a 200 day moving average of $100.91. Monsanto has a 12-month low of $83.73 and a 12-month high of $114.26.
Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.17 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the 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 firm earned $4.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.49 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.39 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Monsanto will post $4.46 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be issued a $0.54 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.11%. Monsanto’s payout ratio is presently 89.26%.
In related news, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 27,980 shares of the firm’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 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Michael K. Stern sold 12,797 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 21,583 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,196,501.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.88% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC boosted its stake in Monsanto by 1.1% in the second quarter. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,094 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Moody National Bank Trust Division boosted its stake in Monsanto by 0.3% in the second quarter. Moody National Bank Trust Division now owns 4,883 shares of the company’s stock worth $505,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its stake in Monsanto by 0.9% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 1,858 shares of the company’s stock worth $184,000 after buying an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC boosted its stake in Monsanto by 0.4% in the second quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 6,238 shares of the company’s stock worth $645,000 after buying an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Trust Co. of Vermont boosted its stake in Monsanto by 0.6% in the second quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 4,932 shares of the company’s stock worth $510,000 after buying an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. 79.06% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Monsanto Company Profile
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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