Monsanto Company NYSE: MON Monsanto reported Wednesday that its income increased 22 percent in the agriculture products company's second quarter on strong sales of biotech seeds, particularly in Brazil and other emerging markets. The company boosted its full-year earnings guidance, citing its strong performance in the first half of the year. Monsanto Co.'s sales increased 15 percent to $5.47 billion, led by genetically modified corn seeds, the company's best-selling product. Monsanto Company fell $1.65 (-1.6%) to $98.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,349,825 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,814,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $98.75-$100.98 after having opened the day at $100.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $100.43.
Monsanto has dominated the bioengineered-seed business for more than a decade. In recent years the company has focused on growing business in emerging markets like Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries. The company's corn, soybean, cotton and other seeds have genetically engineered traits that repel bugs, increase yield and make them resistant to weed-killer. The company says these benefit farmers enough that they come out ahead, even though the seeds cost more than conventional seeds. Monsanto's critics argue that the company has tried to use patent law to control the supply of seeds for soybeans, corn, cotton, canola and other agricultural staples. Monsanto has a policy that prohibits farmers from saving or reusing the seeds once a crop is grown.
For Investors, new options have recently become available for the August 9th expiration. "Aerial spraying will be prohibited in areas defined by the municipalities, or in the two-kilometer (1.2 mile) boundaries between urban and rural areas," Gustavo Arrieta, minister of agricultural affairs in Buenos Aires province, told Reuters. The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization has urged developing countries to withdraw "highly hazardous" pesticides, saying they pose a serious risk to human health and the environment and are often not properly stored and distributed.
Monsanto Company has a market cap of $54.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 6.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.
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