Monsanto (NYSE: MON) and Israel Chemicals Shs (NYSE:ICL) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, risk, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Monsanto and Israel Chemicals Shs, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Monsanto 0 8 3 0 2.27
Israel Chemicals Shs 0 2 0 0 2.00

Monsanto presently has a consensus target price of $123.67, indicating a potential upside of 1.77%. Israel Chemicals Shs has a consensus target price of $4.88, indicating a potential upside of 14.17%. Given Israel Chemicals Shs’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Israel Chemicals Shs is more favorable than Monsanto.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

74.7% of Monsanto shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 6.0% of Israel Chemicals Shs shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.8% of Monsanto shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Monsanto and Israel Chemicals Shs’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Monsanto $14.64 billion 3.65 $4.17 billion $5.11 23.78
Israel Chemicals Shs $5.34 billion 1.02 $924.80 million ($0.15) -28.46

Monsanto has higher revenue and earnings than Israel Chemicals Shs. Israel Chemicals Shs is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Monsanto, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Monsanto pays an annual dividend of $2.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Israel Chemicals Shs pays an annual dividend of $0.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Monsanto pays out 42.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Israel Chemicals Shs pays out -66.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Israel Chemicals Shs has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Israel Chemicals Shs is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Volatility and Risk

Monsanto has a beta of 1.07, indicating that its share price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Israel Chemicals Shs has a beta of 1.22, indicating that its share price is 22% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Monsanto and Israel Chemicals Shs’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Monsanto 15.44% 42.40% 11.40%
Israel Chemicals Shs -3.43% 13.55% 4.20%


Monsanto beats Israel Chemicals Shs on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

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 digital agriculture tools to farmers. The Company operates through two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Through its Seeds and Genomics segment, the Company produces seed brands, including DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine, Seminis and De Ruiter, and it develops biotechnology traits that assist farmers in controlling insects and weeds and digital agriculture to assist farmers in decision-making. The Seeds and Genomics segment offers products, such as Germplasm and Biotechnology traits. Through its Agricultural Productivity segment, the Company manufactures Roundup brand herbicides and other herbicides and provides lawn-and-garden herbicide products for the residential market.

About Israel Chemicals Shs

Israel Chemicals Ltd. operates as a specialty minerals company worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Essential Minerals and Specialty Solutions. The company extracts potash from the Dead Sea; mines and produces potash and salt from subterranean mines in Spain and the United Kingdom, as well as uses part of the potash to produce compound fertilizers; mines and processes phosphate rock in open mines; and produces sulfuric acid, agricultural phosphoric acid, phosphate fertilizers, compound fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, and soluble fertilizers. It also manufactures compound fertilizers in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium; liquid fertilizers and soluble fertilizers in Spain; slow release and controlled release fertilizers in the Netherlands and the United States; and phosphate-based food additives for livestock in Turkey and Israel. In addition, the company produces bromine out of a solution that is created as a by-product of the potash production process in Sodom, as well as bromine-based products; chlorine-based products in Israel and the United States; and flame retardants and phosphorus based products, as well as extracts salt, magnesia, and chlorine from Dead Sea brine. Further, it purchases clean phosphoric acid and manufactures thermal phosphoric acids, which are used to manufacture downstream products and phosphate salts that are used as a raw material for manufacturing, food additives, hygiene products and flame retardants, and fire extinguishment products. It also manufactures phosphorous derivatives based on phosphorous; specialty products based on aluminum acids; and other raw materials. The company sells its products through marketing companies, agents, and distributors. Israel Chemicals Ltd. was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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