Monsanto Co. (MON) Stock Rating Upgraded by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) was upgraded by research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $104.00 target price on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s price target indicates a potential upside of 1.40% from the stock’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “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),”
Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Sanford C. Bernstein raised Monsanto from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $82.81 to $105.00 in a report on Monday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Monsanto from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $128.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, September 21st. Piper Jaffray Cos. set a $128.00 price objective on Monsanto and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. BMO Capital Markets set a $128.00 price objective on Monsanto and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. Finally, S&P Equity Research reissued a “positive” rating on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $114.31.
Monsanto (NYSE:MON) opened at 102.56 on Tuesday. Monsanto has a 12 month low of $83.73 and a 12 month high of $114.26. The company has a market cap of $44.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.14 and a beta of 1.24. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $105.35 and a 200 day moving average price of $100.92.
Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.17 earnings per share (EPS) 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 firm earned $4.19 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.49 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.39 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Monsanto will post $4.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Investors of record on Friday, October 7th will be given a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. Monsanto’s payout ratio is 89.26%.
In related 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 value of $2,899,287.60. Following the transaction, 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 SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Michael K. Stern sold 12,797 shares of the company’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 completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 21,583 shares in the company, valued at $2,196,501.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.88% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. WFG Advisors LP increased its position in Monsanto by 18.6% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 1,009 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 158 shares during the last quarter. Howard Hughes Medical Institute bought a new stake in shares of Monsanto during the first quarter valued at $110,000. Signaturefd LLC increased its stake in shares of Monsanto by 62.1% in the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 1,083 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 415 shares in the last quarter. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Monsanto by 1.1% in the second quarter. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,094 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC increased its stake in shares of Monsanto by 1,179.1% in the second quarter. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC now owns 1,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 1,014 shares in the last quarter. 79.06% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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