Argus reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) in a research note issued to investors on Sunday. The firm currently has a $128.00 target price on the stock.

MON has been the topic of several other research reports. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised Monsanto from a sell rating to a neutral rating and set a $104.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 27th. Jefferies Group reissued a buy rating on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. 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. Citigroup Inc. reissued a neutral rating and issued a $112.00 price objective (up previously from $94.00) on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Friday, July 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Monsanto from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, July 1st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Monsanto presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $114.67.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) opened at 103.36 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $45.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 45.49 and a beta of 1.19. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $104.86 and its 200 day moving average price is $101.43. Monsanto has a 52-week low of $83.73 and a 52-week high of $114.26.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $0.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.02) by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $2.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.38 billion. Monsanto had a return on equity of 46.07% and a net margin of 9.89%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned ($0.19) EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Monsanto will post $4.89 earnings per share for the current 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 issued a dividend of $0.54 per share. 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 is 71.05%.

In other news, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 27,980 shares of the 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 owns 102,480 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,618,977.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Michael K. Stern sold 12,797 shares of the 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 approximately $2,196,501.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of 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 worth $104,000 after buying an additional 158 shares during the period. Signaturefd LLC increased its position in Monsanto by 62.1% in the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 1,083 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 415 shares during the period. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC increased its position 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 during the period. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC increased its position in Monsanto by 1,179.1% in the second quarter. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC now owns 1,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 1,014 shares during the period. Finally, Carnick & Kubik LLC bought a new position in Monsanto during the first quarter worth $130,000. 79.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Monsanto

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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