Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Monsanto expects to close Bayer’s buyout deal by the fall of fiscal 2017. The move would likely underpin Monsanto’s competency within the industry. Moreover, increasing global population, greater market penetration of products and new innovations are expected to reinforce near term results. However, weak agricultural product prices continue to weigh over the company’s top- and bottom-line. Even so, a stronger U.S. dollar and extensive industry rivalry might adversely affect the company’s results moving ahead. Over the last 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has been revised downwards for both fiscal 2017 and 2018.”

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on MON. Piper Jaffray Cos. set a $128.00 price target on Monsanto and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 15th. Vetr raised Monsanto from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $122.43 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Monsanto from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $128.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 21st. OTR Global raised Monsanto from a “negative” rating to a “mixed” rating in a research report on Friday, November 18th. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $110.00 price target on shares of Monsanto in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Monsanto currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $114.06.

Analyst Recommendations for Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

Shares of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) opened at 102.71 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $44.99 billion, a PE ratio of 34.37 and a beta of 1.01. The company’s 50 day moving average is $100.96 and its 200-day moving average is $104.20. Monsanto has a 52 week low of $83.73 and a 52 week high of $114.26.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 5th. The company reported $0.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.02) by $0.09. The business earned $2.56 billion during 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%. Monsanto’s quarterly revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned ($0.19) earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Monsanto will post $4.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, EVP Kerry J. Preete sold 2,745 shares of Monsanto stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $100.96, for a total value of $277,135.20. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 50,056 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,053,653.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Charles S. Mcmillan purchased 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 10th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $103.23 per share, for a total transaction of $361,305.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 64,009 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,607,649.07. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.88% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Grassi Investment Management raised its position in shares of Monsanto by 5.8% in the second quarter. Grassi Investment Management now owns 40,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,147,000 after buying an additional 2,192 shares during the last quarter. First Western Capital Management Co raised its position in shares of Monsanto by 1.4% in the second quarter. First Western Capital Management Co now owns 18,295 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,892,000 after buying an additional 244 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC acquired a new position in shares of Monsanto during the second quarter valued at about $429,000. Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC acquired a new position in shares of Monsanto during the second quarter valued at about $5,223,000. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd raised its position in shares of Monsanto by 1.5% in the second quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 131,974 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,647,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.94% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MON

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