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.
Aug. 20, 2014, 12:51 PM
- Monsanto (MON +0.3%) says it is on track for current guidance at the high end of its initial FY 2014 ongoing EPS and free cash flow guidance ranges, despite increased headwinds across the macro agriculture industry.
- MON confirms 2014 EPS guidance of $5.10-$5.20 vs. $5.21 analyst consensus estimate, and free cash flow of $700M-$800M; expects net cash provided by operating activities of $2.9B-$3.3B.
Aug. 6, 2014, 7:11 PM
- The USDA on Tuesday said it is leaning toward approval of a new line of herbicide-tolerant crops developed by Monsanto (NYSE:MON), and issued a final environmental impact statement for genetically altered corn and soybean plants developed by Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) which also indicates likely approval.
- MON developed its new soybeans and cotton to resist a new herbicide that combines dicamba and glyphosate and which the company is branding as Roundup Xtend; DOW has developed its Enlist corn and soybeans that resist a new herbicide developed by the company that includes glyphosate and 2,4-D.
- Both new cropping systems have seen regulatory decisions delayed by intense opposition from groups who say using more herbicides on weeds will only increase weed resistance over the long term, as well as bring increased risks of health problems and environmental pollution.
Aug. 5, 2014, 6:34 PM
Jul. 10, 2014, 6:52 AM
- Monsanto (MON) pays Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) $1.5M for a milestone related to the research program under the Option Agreement the two companies signed in January covering Tekmira's proprietary delivery technology and IP for use in agricultural applications. The potential value of the agreement could be as high as $86.2M if all program milestones are met.
Jun. 27, 2014, 8:16 AM
- DuPont (DD) -3.1% premarket after cutting its Q2 and FY 2014 earnings outlook, pointing to slower than expected sales growth in its agriculture and performance chemicals units.
- DD said in a conference call that it expects Q2 operating earnings in its agriculture business to fall in the low teens in percentage terms, with corn pricing in North America expected to be slightly lower than its previous estimate and returns of unused corn seeds in Brazil to be higher than anticipated.
- Dow Chemical (DOW) -0.7% premarket; chemical peers FMC, SYT, MON, LYB, CE and HUN also will be on watch today.
Jun. 26, 2014, 6:40 PM
- Monsanto (MON) completed the sale of $4.5B of notes in its biggest bond sale ever to help fund stock buybacks.
- The seven-part offering included $1B of 4.4%, 30-year bonds that yielded 110 bps more than similar-maturity Treasurys, as well as $750M of 4.7% 50-year debentures that yielded 140 bps more than benchmarks.
- Yesterday, MON announced a $10B stock buyback plan and an intention to repurchase $6B of shares on an accelerated basis.
Jun. 25, 2014, 11:39 AM
- Monsanto (MON +5%) says in its FQ3 earnings conference call that it is delivering growth commitments despite the toughest macro agriculture environment in several years, and that its upside guidance reflects estimated a $0.15-$0.20 EPS headwind largely driven by currency.
- Goldman Sachs maintains its Buy rating on the shares even as MON's FQ3 earnings beat was "not great" and the guidance raise was below expectations; the firm believes it is outweighed by the sheer size of the share repurchase program.
- MON is shifting its capital redeployment strategy from acquisitions to share repurchases and will be more aggressive going forward, Goldman says; it also views MON's five-year growth plan calling for mid-teens CAGR to $10-plus of EPS in 2019 as an endorsement of continued growth.
Jun. 25, 2014, 9:10 AM
Jun. 25, 2014, 8:47 AM
- Monsanto (MON) +5.5% premarket and perhaps set to open at a new all-time high after beating FQ3 earnings estimates, raising its full-year outlook on a strong outlook for its seeds and traits business, and announcing a $10B share buyback program.
- Raises its full-year EPS and free cash flow guidance to the the upper end of previous ranges; sees EPS of $5.10-$5.20 vs. earlier forecast of $5.00-$5.20 and $5.25 analyst consensus estimate, and free cash flow at the upper end of $700M-$800M range.
- In its new two-year $10B share purchase program, MON says it is targeting $6B in stock buybacks starting in the near term and spanning up to 12 months.
- Gross margin rose to 54.8% from 53.2%.
Jun. 25, 2014, 8:34 AM
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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