Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report published on Friday morning.

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.”

Several other research analysts have also commented on MON. S&P Equity Research reiterated a positive rating on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a hold rating on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Monness Crespi & Hardt cut their price target on shares of Monsanto from $130.00 to $128.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 3rd. Vetr upgraded shares of Monsanto from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $117.09 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a buy rating on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Monsanto currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $114.65.

Analyst Recommendations for Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

Shares of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) traded down 0.21% on Friday, hitting $103.14. 419,322 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $45.14 billion, a PE ratio of 34.52 and a beta of 1.19. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $104.86 and a 200 day moving average of $101.43. Monsanto has a one year low of $83.73 and a one year high of $114.26.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.02) by $0.09. The firm earned $2.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.38 billion. Monsanto had a net margin of 9.89% and a return on equity of 46.07%. Monsanto’s revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted ($0.19) EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Monsanto will post $4.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.09%. Monsanto’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 71.05%.

In other news, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 27,980 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 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 filing with the SEC, which is accessible 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 transaction of $1,302,350.69. Following 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. Insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. acquired a new stake in Monsanto during the second quarter valued at approximately $12,767,000. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in Monsanto by 3.2% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 189,692 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,616,000 after buying an additional 5,890 shares in the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. raised its stake in Monsanto by 7.7% in the second quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 131,594 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,608,000 after buying an additional 9,459 shares in the last quarter. Carmignac Gestion acquired a new stake in Monsanto during the second quarter valued at approximately $197,555,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in Monsanto by 2.5% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,944,838 shares of the company’s stock valued at $170,663,000 after buying an additional 46,878 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.02% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MON

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Monsanto Co. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Monsanto Co. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.