Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) was upgraded by research analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $128.00 price target on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s target price suggests a potential upside of 22.65% from the stock’s previous close.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Monsanto in a research report on Sunday, May 29th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $127.00 price objective (up previously from $95.00) on shares of Monsanto in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 price objective (up previously from $111.00) on shares of Monsanto in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Vetr upgraded Monsanto from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $122.43 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $92.00 price objective on Monsanto and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $113.02.

Analyst Recommendations for Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

Shares of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) traded up 1.44% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $104.36. The stock had a trading volume of 5,719,552 shares. Monsanto has a 12 month low of $81.22 and a 12 month high of $114.26. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $105.86 and its 200 day moving average is $100.40. The company has a market cap of $45.67 billion, a PE ratio of 45.93 and a beta of 1.24.

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Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.17 earnings per share 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 business earned $4.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.49 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.39 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Monsanto will post $4.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared 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 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.07%. Monsanto’s payout ratio is 89.26%.

In other Monsanto news, CEO Michael K. Stern sold 12,797 shares of the firm’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 approximately $2,196,501.91. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, 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 value of $2,899,287.60. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 102,480 shares in the company, valued at $10,618,977.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.88% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in Monsanto by 49.2% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 53,664 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,550,000 after buying an additional 17,692 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new position in Monsanto during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,824,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new position in Monsanto during the second quarter valued at approximately $3,841,000. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC increased its position in Monsanto by 2.6% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 372,340 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,504,000 after buying an additional 9,569 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Monsanto during the second quarter valued at approximately $6,085,000. Institutional investors own 79.06% 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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