Monsanto (NYSE:MON) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “In a year, Monsanto's shares have outperformed the industry. The company believes that elevated sales of crop yield enhancing products as well as premium plant disease control solutions will boost its near-term results. Moreover, deeper penetration of the Climate FieldView platform and stronger innovation will be advantageous. Also, the completion of Bayer's buyout deal is anticipated to open up a number of opportunities for Monsanto. However, commercial rivalry in the global seeds, traits and agricultural chemical industry can prove detrimental. Also, lack of any research & development as well as unfavorable commodity price fluctuations might be concerns. Over the last 30 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock remained stable for both fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $128.00 target price on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Wells Fargo & Company increased their target price on Monsanto from $107.50 to $118.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Barclays reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $124.00 target price (up previously from $120.00) on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 target price on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, Macquarie lowered Monsanto from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $124.61.

Shares of Monsanto (NYSE MON) opened at $117.30 on Monday. Monsanto has a 52-week low of $104.08 and a 52-week high of $122.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $51,635.46, a P/E ratio of 21.21, a PEG ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12, a current ratio of 1.35 and a quick ratio of 0.83.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 4th. The basic materials company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.41) by $0.61. Monsanto had a return on equity of 42.40% and a net margin of 15.44%. The company had revenue of $2.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.51 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.07 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Monsanto will post 5.74 EPS for the current year.

In other news, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 22,640 shares of Monsanto stock in a transaction on Monday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.03, for a total value of $2,717,479.20. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 85,439 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,255,243.17. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Duraiswami Narain sold 2,860 shares of Monsanto stock in a transaction on Monday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $343,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 49,236 shares of company stock worth $5,931,934. Corporate insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cheyne Capital Management UK LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Monsanto during the 2nd quarter valued at $28,346,000. Strs Ohio boosted its holdings in shares of Monsanto by 31.4% during the 2nd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 364,636 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $43,158,000 after acquiring an additional 87,165 shares in the last quarter. Armstrong Henry H Associates Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Monsanto by 38.5% during the 2nd quarter. Armstrong Henry H Associates Inc. now owns 3,960 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $469,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Steinberg Global Asset Management boosted its holdings in shares of Monsanto by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Steinberg Global Asset Management now owns 17,921 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,121,000 after acquiring an additional 46 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Heartland Consultants Inc. lifted its holdings in Monsanto by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 2,543 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $301,000 after buying an additional 116 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.70% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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