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Monsanto Company (MON)

- NYSE
  • Jan. 13, 2014, 8:48 AM
    • Shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) are up 30% before the bell.
    • The company says it has signed an option agreement under which Monsanto (MON) can license TKMR's delivery technology.
    • TKMR says the value of the option could reach $86.2M "following the successful completion of milestones."
    • TKMR also notes it is expecting a "near-term payment" of $16.5M.
    • MON has conducted initial testing of the technology in agriculture and the new agreement "will now focus on the development of new innovative biological solutions for farmers."
    • The option period is expected to be four years. (PR)
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  • Jan. 9, 2014, 2:39 PM
    • Monsanto (MON -3%) sinks after J.P. Morgan downgrades shares to Neutral from Overweight, seeing domestic corn prices at risk, which could limit pricing power, and likely lower planted corn acres in the U.S. and Brazil, which would challenge corn seed volumes.
    • Glyphosate prices and earnings may come under pressure in H2 2014 or during 2015 given China trends, the firm adds.
    • Morgan Stanley is more charitable, reiterating its Overweight rating and $150 price target on shares, citing a "solid" FQ1 performance against a demanding comp in corn, increased R&D and SG&A expense due to the Climate Corp. acquisition, further write-offs in fruits and vegetables, and a cotton acreage headwind; the firm expects MON will achieve at least the low end of its price/mix guidance.
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  • Jan. 8, 2014, 3:25 PM
    • Monsanto (MON +1.5%) tells analysts during its earnings call that it's making good progress on development of an herbicide-tolerant wheat, but commercial use of what would be the world's first biotech wheat remains several years away.
    • MON says the herbicide-tolerant wheat performed well enough in field testing to move from the "proof of concept" phase to early development work.
    • CEO Hugh Grant also says "there's more volatility and more headwinds across agriculture than there has been in the last few years."
    • The order book is tracking well with 2014 targets, MON says, reflecting a strong end to the U.S. harvest for the company's products; customer pre-pays are up Y/Y and confirm a solid commitment behind the order book.
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  • Jan. 8, 2014, 8:48 AM
    • Monsanto (MON-0.2% premarket after reporting better than expected FQ1 earnings as higher sales of its insect-repelling soybean seeds offset a decline in sales from its corn portfolio.
    • Corn seed and traits segment sales grew 7.5% to $1.05B amid growth in the soybean portfolio; gross margin rose to 49.7% from 47.5%.
    • MON confirms downside guidance for FY 2014 with EPS of $5.00-$5.20, below analyst estimates, but continues to expect strong operational growth from its core business, reflected in mid-to-high teens growth in EBITDA.
    • Regarding the coming U.S. planting season, MON says the pace of its U.S. order book and strong pre-pays are tracking well with 2014 targets.
    | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 8, 2014, 8:03 AM
    • Monsanto (MON): FQ1 EPS of $0.67 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $3.14B beats by $0.06B. (PR)
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  • Jan. 8, 2014, 12:05 AM
  • Jan. 7, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Jan. 7, 2014, 10:17 AM
    • Monsanto (MON -1.7%) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Topeka Capital, which cites valuation and heightened risk.
    • The firm believes MON can execute against the current muted agriculture sentiment, delivering on 12% EPS growth in FY 2014 as the midpoint of the company's current $5.00-$5.20 guidance range implies, but achieving a better result may increasingly become a challenge, given the potentially meaningful shift this year to domestic soy from corn acreage.
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  • Jan. 6, 2014, 12:35 PM
    • The Obama administration is considering measures to toughen rules on fertilizer plants, farmers and oil drillers using or storing explosive chemicals such as those tied to a fatal blast in rural Texas last year, Bloomberg reports.
    • Among policies being considered: lowering the threshold at which the government would be notified that ammonium nitrate is being used or stored; requiring farmers and oil drillers to report on explosive chemicals they possess; and adding chemicals to the hazardous substances lists.
    • Related stocks: POT, CF, TNH, MOS, IPI, AGU, MON, BG, SQM.
    | 8 Comments
  • Jan. 6, 2014, 10:07 AM
    • Monsanto (MON +0.1%) is enjoying some analyst love ahead of its Jan. 8 earnings report, as Susquehanna's Don Carson raises his target price on the shares to $145 from $128 and Morgan Stanley lifts its target to a Street-high $150 on "positive seed dynamics" with a bull case target of $200/share.
    • Carson expects MON to raise its FY 2014 guidance.
    | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 3, 2014, 5:48 PM
    • The USDA says it is leaning towards approval of Dow AgroSciences' (DOW) genetically modified Enlist corn and soybeans that have been heavily criticized by groups who say they will harm the environment.
    • The Enlist seeds are designed to be used in combination with a new herbicide developed by DOW that combines the weed-killers 2,4-D, known for its use in the Agent Orange defoliant, and glyphosate.
    • DOW says the crops and the herbicide combination will help combat an explosion of crop-choking weeds around the U.S. that have become resistant to glyphosate, the chief ingredient in the Roundup herbicide sold by rival Monsanto (MON).
    | 6 Comments
  • Jan. 3, 2014, 4:02 AM
    • General Mills (GIS) has stopped using genetically modified ingredients in Cheerios, saying that it would label the packaging of the breakfast cereal accordingly.
    • It's a rare move from General Mills, as food companies have been wary of GM labeling because they fear it would cause consumers to think that such foods are dangerous.
    • Indeed, General Mills went out of its way to say that the Cheerios change had nothing to do with safety or pressure from anti-GM activists. Tellingly, though, the company said that the alteration was due to demand from customers - who presumably are concerned about safety.
    • The question now is whether other food companies will follow suit and what the long-term effect on GM companies such as Monsanto (MON) might be.
    • General Mills blog post.
    | 6 Comments
  • Dec. 30, 2013, 10:59 AM
    • Piper is out reiterating an Overweight rating on shares of Monsanto (MON +0.3%).
    • Price target is $135.
    • Analyst Michael Cox's checks indicate a positive order book for the fall.
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  • Dec. 11, 2013, 10:29 AM
    • Monsanto (MON) is teaming up with a Danish biotech Novozymes (NVZMF, NVZMY) to develop microscopic organisms that help plants grow and resist pests, a move that could enable it to circumvent some concerns over its genetically modified seeds.
    • MON will pay $300M as part of the deal, in which the companies plan to combine their efforts to cultivate beneficial bacteria; they will split the cost of development equally and each get 50% of the profits from sales.
    • The idea of using microbes for plants hasn't caught on yet in part because many of the largest farmers are used to growing crops with synthetic fertilizer, scientists say.
    | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 9, 2013, 4:39 PM
    • Monsanto Company (MON) declares $0.43/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.54%
    • Payable Jan 31; for shareholders of record Jan 10; ex-div Jan 8.
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  • Nov. 18, 2013, 1:59 PM
    • China reportedly rejected a cargo of U.S. corn because it contained a genetically modified variety not approved for import; the shipment was said to contain Syngenta's (SYT -0.4%) Agrisure Viptera corn.
    • Earlier this year, Monsanto (MON) ran into trouble when an unapproved GMO strain of wheat it had devloped showed up in a farmer's field in Oregon.
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Company Description
Monsanto Co is a provider of agricultural products for farmers. The Company offers corn, soybean, cotton, wheat, canola, sorghum and sugar cane seeds. Its segments are Seeds and Genomics and Agricultural Productivity.