Dec. 8, 2014, 4:41 PM
Dec. 2, 2014, 3:49 PM
- Monsanto (MON +0.1%) is downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $127 target price, down from $140, at Monness Crespi, whose annual seed dealer survey came back the most negative for the seed industry in the survey's seven-year history.
- The firm says the 50-plus dealers who responded are seeing challenging industry conditions - including greater discounting, reduced trait purchases, reduced spending on seeds, and share gains for non-major seeds brands - as a second straight year of significantly lower farm profits forces farmers to watch their spending closely, including on seeds.
Nov. 25, 2014, 2:46 PM
- "Not surprisingly, billionaires reduced their energy allocations (NYSEARCA:XLE) during Q3," says Direxion, unveiling the quarterly rebalance for the iBillionaire Index (which serves as the benchmark for the IBLN ETF). Attention was instead shifted to healthcare (NYSEARCA:XLV) and materials (NYSEARCA:XLB), with companies like Humana (NYSE:HUM) and Monsanto (NYSE:MON).
- Also added to the index: TMO, GM, FB, CBS, GOOG, MAS, APD, DAL, NOV, WHR, THC, ABBV.
- Dropped from the index: AIG, MCK, CTSH, MSI, RIG, CI, APC, GPS, MSFT, CMCSA, NFLX, MHFI, WMB, ICE.
- Outlying sectors: Consumer Discretionary (NYSEARCA:XLY) makes up 23.33% of the iBillionaire Index vs. 11.68% for the S&P 500, and Industrials (NYSEARCA:XLI) and financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) make up just 6.67% each of the index vs. 10.44 and 16.30 of the S&P 500, respectively. Consumer Staples (NYSEARCA:XLP) have zero representation in the index vs. 9.7% in the S&P 500.
- Previously: Direxion launched an ETF with iBillionaire today
Nov. 12, 2014, 4:59 PM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) says it reached a settlement with U.S. wheat farmers who sued the company after unapproved genetically engineered wheat was discovered growing without oversight in Oregon.
- Without admitting liability, MON agrees to put $2.1M into a settlement fund to compensate farmers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho who sold soft white wheat between May 30 and Nov. 13, 2013, and an additional $250K to various wheat growers' associations.
- MON's Roundup Ready wheat, which was never approved by U.S. regulators and which the company said it stopped testing a decade ago, was found growing in an Oregon farmer's field in 2013.
Nov. 12, 2014, 10:15 AM
- Monsanto (MON +0.6%) says its growth strategy provides an opportunity to "at least double" ongoing earnings per share by 2019.
- In presentation slides at a Morgan Stanley conference on chemicals and agriculture, MON says: "Given strength of business and compelling line of sight, Monsanto sees sustained opportunity for long-term growth. Strong embedded growth is expected to deliver more than $4B of total gross profit growth from core seeds-and-traits engine alone."
- MON also expects its Climate Corporation platform to emerge as a meaningful contributor to earnings and growth in the five-year horizon.
Oct. 14, 2014, 3:31 PM
- Global growth, foreign-exchange, oil, and small caps are the subject of every client inquiry, says David Kostin. His team's recommendation: Buy "American exceptionalism."
- In Kostin's view, U.S. economy and corporate fundamentals are still strong, with economic growth expected by Goldman economists to be 3.2% next year, the fastest expansion since 2005. Europe is expected to grow just 1%.
- What his team likes are those stocks of companies which have a high proportion of domestic sales, plus sectors like Consumer Staples (XLP -0.1%) and Discretionary (XLY +0.7%) which stand to benefit from lower oil prices (plunging again today).
- As for small caps (IWM +0.9%), Kostin is wary, noting downward earnings revisions have boosted small cap P/E ratios even as prices have declined.
- The list of S&P 500 names capturing two or more of Kostin's themes: GT, GM, PCLN, AMZN, CMCSA, LOW, DG, TSN, ADM, CVS, AVP, WAG, PXD, HAL, JPM, BAC, SCHW, PNC, MS, C, GNW, LNC, MET, THC, AET, UNH, ESRX, HUM, WLP, BIIB, GILD, DAL, CMI, FLR, CRM, JBL, MA, FB, MU, FSLR, VMC, MON, T.
Oct. 8, 2014, 9:06 AM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) -0.7% premarket after FQ4 earnings miss Wall Street estimates and the company forecasts below consensus earnings guidance for FY 2015.
- MON sees 2015 EPS of $5.75-$6.00 vs. $6.04 analyst consensus estimate, and warns that its earnings pattern has shifted in recent years, with smaller earnings in its FQ1 and growth concentrated in its FQ3.
- For the current quarter ending in November, MON says it expects earnings to be about half of what it posted a year earlier.
- In its FQ4 ended in August, MON says its soybean seed and traits segment sales more than doubled to $199M, while corn seed and trait sales climbed 1.9% to $630M; sales in the agricultural productivity business, which consists of crop-protection products and herbicides, gained 23.3% to $1.3B.
Oct. 8, 2014, 8:16 AM
Oct. 7, 2014, 5:30 PM
Oct. 2, 2014, 2:59 PM
- Fertilizer producers are mostly lower after Agrium (AGU -1.9%) announced weak guidance for H2 of its FY 2014: POT -2%, MOS -0.9%, OTCPK:YARIY -2.8%, IPI -2.3%, RNF -1.2%, but CF +2.4%.
- Canaccord and Piper Jaffray downwardly revised their 12-month price targets for the stock, by a respective 1.9% to $102 while reiterating a Buy rating and by 4.2% to $92 while maintaining a Neutral rating; however, BMO and RBC each reiterated their Outperform ratings on the stock with respective target prices of $99 and $115.
- Jim Cramer thinks AGU's woes could reverberate throughout the ag sector, at least in the near-term, with selling possibly spread to the likes of Monsanto (MON -0.4%), Syngenta (SYT +0.1%), Deere (DE +0.1%) and Agco (AGCO +1%).
Sep. 26, 2014, 4:57 PM
- Monsanto's (NYSE:MON) unapproved genetically engineered wheat has been found growing in Montana, a year after discovery of the GMO wheat disrupted U.S. wheat exports when it was found at an Oregon farm.
- Investigators today closed a probe into last year's incident in which regulators say they cannot explain how the plants escaped field trials that ended eight years ago.
- The latest case should not affect trade since the rogue wheat was found on a non-commercial farm and the USDA found none in commerce.
Sep. 18, 2014, 10:53 AM
- The USDA late yesterday gave final approval to its Enlist genetically modified corn and soybeans developed by Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), meaning the traits could be on the market in time for the 2015 U.S. planting season.
- While heavily criticized by environmentalists and some farmers, Dow AgroSciences will market the product as an answer to weed resistance problems that limit crop production; heavy use of Monsanto's (NYSE:MON) Roundup has triggered an explosion of herbicide-resistant super weeds, and Enlist would address the problem since weeds have not yet developed resistance to it.
- Enlist is still awaiting approval from the EPA.
Sep. 10, 2014, 12:59 PM
- Monsanto (MON -1.5%) moves off earlier lows prompted by a report from OTR Global warning that weak Intacta demand is unlikely to absorb supply.
- Seed dealers and producers in Brazil and Argentina report weaker than expected sales of the genetically engineered soybeans, OTR says in cutting its rating on MON to Negative from Mixed.
- A MON spokesperson disputes those conclusions, saying Intacta demand is on pace to reach a goal of 10M-12M acres this year and pre-pays are greater than expected.
Aug. 28, 2014, 10:43 AM
- Syngenta (SYT -0.3%) is open to a deal, whether as an acquirer or as a target, perhaps with Dow Chemical (DOW -1.4%) or DuPont (DD +0.2%), Bloomberg speculates.
- SYT and Monsanto (MON -0.5%) held preliminary talks with advisers earlier this year about a combination that never came to fruition, which shows SYT’s willingness to make a deal, analysts say.
- One option discussed is a takeover of Dow’s agricultural business, which Dow is open to divesting; SYT also could merge with DuPont and then spin off the U.S. company’s non-agricultural businesses.
- Dow may be a better candidate to use a SYT acquisition to relocate overseas for tax advantages, analysts suggest, but with the Obama administration looking at ways to discourage tax-inversion acquisitions, DuPont’s well-known brands and sales to the U.S. military may spark greater political pushback.
Aug. 21, 2014, 11:43 AM
- Hedge funds are having a difficult time of it again this year, up 1% vs. a 7.5% gain for the S&P 500, according to Goldman Sachs, which crunched the numbers on 775 funds with $1.9T in AUM.
- Nevertheless, Goldman's list of 50 stocks which "matter most" to hedge funds has outperformed the S&P 500 on a quarterly basis 66% of the time since 2001. The stocks this quarter (posted in order of the number of funds in which a name is a top-10 holding):
- ACT, AAPL, FB, AGN, AAL, GM, TWC, AIG, MSFT, HTZ, CHTR, MU, WMB, LNG, C, DAL, HCA, APC, CBS, ALLY, GOOGL, APD, NRF, BAC, EBAY, LBTYK, PCLN, VRX, BIDU, DTV, DISH, DG, EQIX, MA, WAG, ARCP, GILD, LINTA, MON, FOXA, VC, AMZN, BRK.A, BRK.B, SUNE, CMCSA, JPM, MIC, CCI, HES, LAMR.
- A special call-out to Northstar Realty (NYSE:NRF), Visteon (NYSE:VC), SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE:MIC), and Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) for making the list of hedge fund hotels despite their relatively tiny market caps.
Aug. 20, 2014, 4:43 PM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) says it expects to begin selling new soybean seeds resistant to a broader range of herbicides in 2016 pending regulatory approvals in major agricultural countries.
- The seeds, which MON intends to pair with a new and stronger weedkiller, are "on track for U.S. regulatory approval toward the end of the year" and are expected to earn international approvals in 2015, chief technology officer Robert Fraley says.
- MON has sought USDA approval for the seeds since 2010, but the review has moved more slowly than expected amid pushback from environmental groups.
- Earlier: Monsanto affirms guidance.
MON vs. ETF Alternatives
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.
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