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Wed, Feb. 3, 2:45 PM
- Monsanto (MON +1.6%) says it received import approval from China for its new genetically modified Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, and that it will begin selling the seeds in the U.S. and Canada.
- MON's next-generation soybean variety is engineered to tolerate applications of glyphosate and dicamba herbicides amid a growing problem of glyphosate-resistant weeds in North America.
- Dicamba use is allowed in Canada but not yet approved in the U.S., where it is still under review by the EPA.
Wed, Jan. 6, 2:19 PM
- Monsanto (MON -1.8%) CEO Hugh Grant says a deepening decline in the agricultural industry has strengthened the rationale for combining the company, the world’s largest seller of seeds, with Syngenta (SYT -2.2%), the top seller of pesticides, but engagement about a possible merger has been “difficult."
- In today's earnings conference call, Grant did not elaborate on the difficulty in engaging SYT, but said MON still sees a "significant opportunity" through integrating SYT's pesticide portfolio and that MON's pipeline of crop genes, high-performing seeds and new computer-powered farming services make the company a prime partner for merger deals.
- SYT CFO and interim CEO John Ramsay had said in an interview last month that the company was discussing possible deals with “a number of parties” and signaled new openness to discussing a deal with MON.
- Earlier: Monsanto to cut more jobs as Q4 sales slide, 2016 EPS outlook trimmed
Wed, Jan. 6, 9:11 AM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) -2.3% premarket after reporting better than expected Q1 earnings but disappointing revenues as corn sales weakened in Latin America.
- MON lowers its FY 2016 EPS guidance to the lower half of its prior guidance range of $5.10-$5.60, vs. $5.27 analyst consensus estimate, partly due to the recent devaluation of the Argentine peso.
- MON also raises the number of jobs it expects to cut as part of a restructuring plan to 3,600, or 16% of the global workforce, from 2,600 announced in October; the latest cuts will result in $1.1B-$1.2B in restructuring charges, more than previously expected charges of $850M-$900M.
- MON says Q4 soybean sales rose 11% Y/Y to $438M, as U.S. farmers have dedicated more fields to soybeans in pursuit of higher profits; sales in the ag productivity segment, which includes Roundup brand weed killer, fell to $820M from $1.25B a year earlier.
Dec. 22, 2015, 2:57 PM
- Syngenta (SYT +4.1%) is in talks with Monsanto (MON +2.1%), ChemChina and others but has not received a concrete takeover offer and is keeping all options open, Chairman Michel Demare says.
- SYT's board, which this year rebuffed a takeover offer from MON, is considering making an acquisition, merging with a rival or selling the company, according to Demare.
- "Given what shareholders expect for the next 12 months, going it alone is hardly possible," Demare says, explaining that SYT could move ahead on its own but shareholders currently lack the patience to wait for a cyclical upswing; sector consolidation also is adding pressure to act, he says.
- Earlier: Syngenta upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies, as warm weather a boost
- Earlier: Syngenta open to deals with rivals including Monsanto, CEO says (Dec. 18)
Dec. 18, 2015, 12:17 PM
- Interim Syngenta (SYT +2.1%) CEO John Ramsay tells Dow Jones the company is discussing possible deals with "a number of parties" and is open to combinations with companies including Monsanto (MON +0.9%).
- While Ramsay says MON has not revived its $46B takeover effort that was abandoned in August, his comment that SYT is "interested in any value-adding opportunity that exists for us in this industry, which includes Monsanto and many others" marks a notable departure from its earlier stand.
- Last week's merger between DuPont (DD -0.7%) and Dow Chemical (DOW -0.4%) removed two potential partners for SYT and eventually could pose a greater competitive threat in the ~$100B global seed and pesticide industry.
Dec. 9, 2015, 12:10 PM
- Any merger between Dow Chemical (DOW +10.5%) and DuPont (DD +12.6%) would have far-reaching consequences for European rivals, prompting a series of moves as pesticide and seed makers scramble to face a combined U.S. giant.
- A merger would make it more likely that Monsanto (MON +0.2%) re-approaches Syngenta (SYT +7.7%), Bernstein analysts say, speculating that a new bid could come in at 485 Swiss francs, more than the 470 cash-and-stock offer withdrawn in August.
- The pressure on MON to defend its position as the biggest seeds player would be "huge" as chemical companies will want to defend or even strengthen their market positions, says MM Warburg's Oliver Schwarz.
- Regulatory hurdles to a merger would require the combined company to sell off some businesses, likely sparking interest from contenders such as BASF (OTCQX:BASFY -0.1%), Schwarz says. “All the big companies that are swimming in this pond would probably be interested in taking over assets that Dow or DuPont would sell."
Nov. 18, 2015, 2:23 PM
- Syngenta (SYT -3.7%) and other major players in the seeds and crop chemicals industry are in active discussions about potential tie-ups, Financial Times cites Chairman Michel Demare as saying in an interview.
- Conversations among the leading companies in the sector were "extremely active... "We are all convinced that [the sector] will look quite different in six months," Demare says.
- The comments come after Monsanto (MON +1.4%), which withdrew a bid to take over SYT earlier this year, said yesterday it was discussing whether to acquire or merge with major rivals in the seed and agrochemical industries.
Nov. 17, 2015, 2:32 PM
- Monsanto (MON -0.8%) top execs are discussing whether it should try to acquire agrochemical rivals, including another potential run at Syngenta (SYT +6.8%), MON President Brett Begemann says.
- The internal discussions, ongoing since MON abandoned its $46B offer for SYT in August, include weighing the benefits of bidding for rivals such as Bayer CropScience (OTCPK:BAYRY +1.1%), Reuters reports.
- MON expects its profit growth will reach 20%/year, and says it does not need a big acquisition to achieve its previously reported goal of doubling earnings to more than $10/share by 2019, Begemann also says.
- Earlier: Syngenta pops on news of another Monsanto approach
Nov. 17, 2015, 11:27 AM
- "Monsanto internally discussing another Syngenta approach" - Bloomberg
- SYT +2.6% to $74.22.
- Related: Syngenta: Back To Normal After Monsanto's Retreat (Sep. 16)
Oct. 21, 2015, 2:19 PM
- Syngenta (SYT +6.4%) will continue to review its seed portfolio and look for deal opportunities but does not plan to engage Monsanto (MON +0.7%) on takeover talks, Chairman Michel Demaré tells Dow Jones in an interview following the sudden resignation of CEO Mike Mack.
- MON's proposal was financially risk and too low, Demaré says, and its rejection was "a unanimous decision" by SYT's board.
- SYT will be proactive in looking for openings to make its own acquisitions or seek to buy pieces spun off if rivals combine, Demaré says.
- Mack's exit did not arise from a difference over the company's strategy or its rejection of MON's takeover offer, the CEO adds.
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
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.
Aug. 25, 2015, 2:14 PM
- Monsanto (MON -2.8%) and Syngenta (SYT -3.1%) are sharply lower after CNBC's David Faber reported earlier about growing opposition among MON shareholders to its continued approach for SYT.
- Reports yesterday indicated that MON had increased its offer for SYT to 470 Swiss francs, up from 449 earlier, and upped its break-up fee by $1B to $3B.
- Faber says he is "hearing significant opposition" to the deal from some major MON shareholders and expects them to relay their concerns to the company soon.
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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