Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) was the target of unusually large options trading on Monday. Stock investors bought 175,773 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,734% compared to the average daily volume of 9,583 put options.

Several brokerages have recently commented on MON. UBS cut Monsanto from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $128.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Zacks Investment Research cut Monsanto from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 30th. Wells Fargo & Company raised their target price on Monsanto from $107.50 to $118.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $128.00 target price on shares of Monsanto in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Macquarie cut Monsanto from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Monsanto presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $124.61.

In other news, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 22,640 shares of the firm’s 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 completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 85,439 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,255,243.17. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Duraiswami Narain sold 2,860 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 25th. The stock was 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 ninety days, insiders sold 49,236 shares of company stock valued at $5,931,934. 0.79% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MON. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Monsanto by 2.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 30,725,725 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,636,697,000 after buying an additional 784,418 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Monsanto by 6.5% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 27,898,255 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,302,038,000 after buying an additional 1,705,439 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its position in shares of Monsanto by 0.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 20,276,780 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,399,965,000 after buying an additional 122,814 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors lifted its position in shares of Monsanto by 10.3% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 9,344,430 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,119,650,000 after buying an additional 872,377 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Monsanto by 0.7% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 7,092,929 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $839,519,000 after buying an additional 47,725 shares during the last quarter. 75.70% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Monsanto (NYSE MON) opened at $118.09 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $51,824.75, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.29, a P/E/G ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.04. Monsanto has a 12-month low of $104.08 and a 12-month high of $122.79. The company has a current ratio of 1.35, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12.

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 analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.41) by $0.61. The firm had revenue of $2.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.51 billion. Monsanto had a return on equity of 42.40% and a net margin of 15.44%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.07 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Monsanto will post 5.74 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 26th. Investors of record on Friday, January 5th will be given a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 4th. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.83%. Monsanto’s payout ratio is 42.27%.

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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 digital agriculture tools to farmers. The Company operates through two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity.

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