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Oct. 9, 2015, 5:35 PM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) says it has entered into a $3B accelerated share repurchase program, part of its $10B share repurchase authorization announced in June 2014.
- With the completion of its previous $6B accelerated share buyback, MON says it has repurchased more than 10% of its shares outstanding since June 2014.
- MON +0.8% AH.
Oct. 9, 2015, 11:58 AM
- Analysts weigh in with a round of price target cuts for Monsanto (MON +1.2%) after the company's big quarterly miss and below consensus guidance.
- Credit Suisse cuts its price target for MON shares to $109 from $126, foreseeing results for the next two quarters as "convoluted at best," but keeps its Outperform rating with confidence in MON’s ability to grow seeds and genomics gross profit going forward.
- Morgan Stanley trims its target price to $110 from $120, believing the company could see meaningful growth in FY 2017 and beyond.
- Stifel lowers its target to $115 from $135, seeing the negative issues of FY 2016 now known and quantified, removing an overhang and clearing the way for a recovery in share prices (Briefing.com).
- Argus cuts its price outlook to $111 from $132, but expects MON to benefit from declining grain inventories and stronger commodity prices, and notes MON's best-in-class seed portfolio and one of the ag industry's strongest R&D pipelines (Briefing.com).
Oct. 7, 2015, 3:58 PM
- Monsanto (MON +0.6%) opened with sharp losses in reaction to a big quarterly miss but looks to close in positive territory, as investors appear to agree with CEO Hugh Grant that MON's fundamentals are strong despite the bleak FQ4.
- MON gave ongoing earnings guidance for the new fiscal year that missed expectations, but also confirmed its five-year plan to more than double ongoing EPS along with announcing a new $3B accelerated share repurchase program and 2,600 job cuts over the next 18-24 months as part of restructuring plans.
- Grant says MON will remain focused on achieving growth targets for its core seeds and traits business, stay disciplined with its herbicide business, and still meet its target of more than doubling FY 2014 EPS, excluding special items, by 2019.
- MON still needs final regulatory approvals but says advance orders for Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System soybeans are on track to sell out by early December; it expects pricing at a $5-to-$10/acre premium.
- The CEO also says MON, which abandoned its bid to acquire Syngenta in August, continues to search for deals because consolidation in the agriculture industry is “inevitable.”
Oct. 7, 2015, 9:17 AM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) -4.6% premarket after reporting FQ4 earnings and revenues that missed expectations, as corn seed sales continue to weaken.
- MON says it plans to cut 2,600 employees over the next two years, ~12% of its global workforce, with the aim of generating $275M-$300M in annual savings.
- MON also plans some restructuring actions costing an estimated $850M-$900M, and announces a new $3B stock buyback program.
- MON forecasts FY 2016 EPS of $5.10-$5.60 vs. $6.24 analyst consensus estimate; "it’s hard to see where growth will come from next year. The seed environment doesn’t seem entirely robust here or in South America,” says Monness Crespi analyst Chris Shaw.
- Says FY 2015 results reflected Y/Y ongoing EPS growth of 10%, or ~17% on an ongoing currency neutral basis, despite the downturn in the agriculture cycle.
- For FQ4, MON says corn sales, its biggest source of profit, fell 5.1% Y/Y to $598M, and soybean sales dropped 19% to $162M; sales in the agricultural productivity segment, which includes the Roundup brand weed killer, fell to $1.1B from $1.25B.
- FQ4 gross margin fell to 42% from 47%.
Oct. 7, 2015, 9:14 AM
Oct. 7, 2015, 8:54 AM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON): FQ4 EPS of -$0.19 misses by $0.17.
- Revenue of $2.36B (-10.3% Y/Y) misses by $400M.
Oct. 6, 2015, 5:30 PM
Oct. 5, 2015, 10:54 AM
- Nineteen European Union member states have requested opt-outs for all or part of their territory from cultivation of a Monsanto (MON +1.2%) genetically modified crop which is authorized to be grown in the EU.
- The requests are for opt-outs from the approval of MON's maize MON 810, the only crop commercially cultivated in the EU.
- Under a law signed earlier this year, individual countries can seek exclusion from any approval request for GMO cultivation across the 28-nation EU.
Sep. 24, 2015, 7:50 AM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) plans to offer worried shareholders a new corporate vision in "big data" after it abandoned a $46B bid last month to buy Syngenta.
- Executives are re-positioning the company as a business built on data science and services, not just chemicals, seeds and genetic traits, Monsanto CTO Robert Fraley told Reuters.
- The company’s top executives are now sketching plans for the vision ahead of a November investor meeting at the company's St. Louis headquarters.
Sep. 14, 2015, 11:15 AM
- With market eyes on a Fed rate-hike decision considered to be a bit of a toss-up amid differing opinions, Goldman Sachs is banking on the (slightly) more dovish position that the agency will wait until December. The bank is still laying out how to play the hike when it invariably comes.
- Strength in balance sheets is what you need, it says, noting that those companies outperform (by an average 5%) in the three months after a rate-boosting cycle begins. In Goldman's "High Quality Stock" basket: CMG, DLTR, PEP, KMI, BLK, GOOG, AAPL, PCLN, ORCL, WFC.
- Meanwhile, it suggests avoiding companies with high floating-rate debt as they bear the brunt of a move away from near-zero interest rate policy. "When the tightening cycle finally starts, the immediate impact will be felt by firms with high proportions of variable rate borrowing."
- Included in that "avoid" list: CL, COL, JNJ, AAPL, EBAY, MET, KO, GIS, F, MCD, GM, TWX, CVX, AGN, MON.
- (Yes, cash-rich Apple made both lists, having a strong balance sheet along with floating debt.)
Sep. 10, 2015, 4:43 PM
- A French court upholds a 2012 ruling in which Monsanto (NYSE:MON) was found guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, who says he suffered neurological problems after inhaling the company's Lasso weedkiller.
- The decision by an appeals court confirms the initial judgment that ruled MON was responsible for the intoxication and ordered the company to "fully compensate."
- MON says it will bring the decision before France's highest appeal court.
- MON phased out Lasso in the U.S. several years ago for commercial reasons.
Sep. 3, 2015, 3:28 AM
- Looking to appease shareholders after rejecting a $47B takeover attempt from Monsanto (NYSE:MON), Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) is planning to buy back more than $2B of shares and sell its global vegetable seeds business.
- "The board and management are determined to accelerate shareholder value creation and our actions today underpin our commitment to do so," Chairman Michel Demare said in a statement.
- Syngenta's share repurchase program will begin in the coming weeks.
Aug. 27, 2015, 3:04 AM
- Having ditched its $46B offer for Syngenta (NYSE:SYT), Monsanto (NYSE:MON) may look to downshift beefing up its crop protection portfolio through humbler acquisitions, partnerships and licensing agreements.
- "If we don't acquire Syngenta, we'll still be on Plan A," Monsanto's Michael Frank said last month. "It won't be Syngenta. It will be somebody else, or somebodies else."
- Monsanto's $46B bid is the largest deal to be pulled since the withdrawal of Valeant's $54B offer for Allergan last November.
- Previously: Syngenta must explain "Plan B" after Monsanto pulls deal, investors say (Aug. 26 2015)
- Previously: Monsanto's "discipline," commitment to resume buybacks pleases analyst (Aug. 26 2015)
Aug. 26, 2015, 4:58 PM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) finished +8.5% today after dropping its bid for Syngenta, and Citigroup maintains its Buy rating on the stock as management "showed discipline" by ending the process.
- With the offer now off the table, MON said it plans to resume repurchasing its own shares, and Citi says the commitment to return capital to shareholders could alleviate fears that MON will quickly undertake another major transaction; MON has ~$4B remaining on its two-year, $10B share repurchase program announced in mid-2014.
- Although the macro ag backdrop is challenging with farm incomes falling and low grain prices, Citi says MON remains "well positioned as the strongest seed company with the best R&D pipeline in the industry."
Aug. 26, 2015, 12:40 PM
- Syngenta (SYT -11.5%) shareholders are calling on the board to clarify how it intends to make up billions of dollars of lost shareholder value after Monsanto (MON +8.6%) abandoned its takeover bid.
- "We need the board and the management to explain their Plan B," says Pauline McPherson, co-fund manager of Kames Capital's global equity fund, which holds SYT shares.
- Other investors question why SYT's management were so reluctant to open their books
- MON's $46B bid is the largest pulled deal since Valeant Pharma's November 2014 withdrawal of its $54B offer for Allergan.
Aug. 26, 2015, 10:52 AM
- Monsanto (MON +6.5%) says it is no longer pursuing a combination with Syngenta (SYT -15%) after a new bid was rebuffed; shares resume trading after a halt.
- MON says SYT has told it that the company's enhanced proposal did not meet expectations, thus it will continue to focus on growth opportunities built on its existing core business.
- MON says its latest proposal increased the cash component of the proposed takeover to 245 Swiss francs/share and maintained the same number of shares as in its April proposal; the revised proposal translated to a value of 470 Swiss francs/share.
Monsanto Co along with its subsidiaries provides agricultural products for farmers. Its seeds, biotechnology traits, herbicides and precision agriculture products provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity.
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