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Monsanto Company (MON)

  • 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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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  • Nov. 11, 2013, 3:40 PM
    • Monsanto (MON -0.6%) is reiterated with a Buy rating at UBS, which also raises its price target to $118 from $110, following what the firm calls a "very upbeat" biennial investor event.
    • Given MON's confidence in near 8% gross profit growth from mix alone this year despite lower crop prices, the firm says it has greater confidence in modelling the same growth rate for next year; only 25% of soybeans in the Americas have MON's Gen 2 Roundup tolerance trait, and Latin American insect protected soy also set to ramp sharply in the next few years.
    • MON's new platforms could ramp to ~$1B in sales by 2018-19, the firm adds.
    | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 8, 2013, 7:59 AM
    • DuPont's (DD) agricultural seed unit of DuPont is teaming with Deere (DE) in a race against rival Monsanto (MON) to provide farmers with enhanced "precision agriculture" analyses aimed at maximizing crop production.
    • The programs, which will roll out next year, will give farmers guidance on field management decisions including planting, crop treatment, pest control and even the best time to harvest.
    • DuPont Pioneer has long counseled farmers on the best seed to plant for their particular farms, but the deal with Deere is the latest in a series of moves by both DD and rival MON to turn farm-related data analyses into new profit streams by incorporating analytics on an array of data points.
  • Nov. 5, 2013, 7:54 AM
    • Monsanto (MON+2.2% premarket after announcing a $1B public debt offering, with $400M in three-year bonds, $300M in five-year bonds and $300M in 30-year bonds.
    • MON intends to use the net proceeds, together with available cash, to repay debt issued to finance the acquisition of The Climate Corp. and for other general corporate purposes.
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  • Oct. 4, 2013, 3:35 PM
    • Dow Chemical (DOW +2.8%) reveals plans to challenge Monsanto’s (MON +0.2%) insect-repelling soybeans for South America with beans engineered to kill pests with two added genes.
    • MON estimates the market for its Intacta beans, which are being introduced on 3M acres this year and have one Bt gene to control bugs, at 100M acres; Dow says having two Bt genes with different modes of action will slow insects’ ability to overcome the technology.
    • Dow says the new soybeans should be available in Brazil and Argentina in three to five years, pending regulatory approvals.
    | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 3, 2013, 11:49 AM
    • Monsanto (MON -0.3%) is pulled from the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs after its dilutive acquisition of Climate Corporation, as MON believes the deal will be $0.14 dilutive to 2014 EPS.
    • The firm still rates MON a Buy but with a reduced price target of $118, down from $124, and lowers its FY 2014 EPS from $5.54 to $5.46 to account for the company's weaker than expected 2013 base, not yet including the acquisition.
    • Deutsche Bank lifts its price target to $120 from $116, however, as the Climate Corp. acquisition leaves MON "well positioned to address agriculture's next major growth frontier: the use of data to optimize farmer decision making and drive incremental yield."
    | 1 Comment
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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.