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Monsanto Company (MON)

  • 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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  • 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
  • Oct. 2, 2013, 3:49 PM
    • Investors appear unimpressed with Monsanto's (MON -1.4%) $930M purchase of Climate Corp. and instead focus on MON's 2014 profit forecast and a drop in gross profit in its key corn and soybean seed business in the latest quarter.
    • "Seed gross profit was down more than expected," and the 2014 outlook is too low, BGC Financial says.
    • MON is positioning the Climate Corp. acquisition as part of a longer-term recovery plan, and a tip of the hat to bigger issues around ecology; "The weather is becoming more extreme. We found that we had kindred spirits with the folks at Monsanto," says Climate Corp's COO.
    • In the earnings conference call, CEO Hugh Grant called the deal a transformational event: "This is the entry ticket into a $20B market opportunity" for data-driven products to help farmers boost production. "It will strengthen our growth rate over the coming decade."
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  • Oct. 2, 2013, 8:40 AM
    • More on Monsanto's (MON) FQ4 results: Net sales rose 5% Y/Y to $2.2B from $2.1B, while total operating expenses increased to $1.21B from $1.14B.
    • For FY 2013, Seeds and Genomics segment sales totaled $10.3B, led by its global corn portfolio that gained 13% Y/Y; segment sales in FQ4 were ~$1.2B; the segment is expected to be the biggest driver of growth, with expectations to mid-teens gross profit growth in FY 2014.
    • Plans to pay $930M to acquire the Climate Corporation, which it describes as a leader in agriculture analytics and risk management.
    • Sees FY 2014 EPS of $5.00-$5.20 after $0.14 in acquisition-related dilution; analysts had been expecting $5.33.
    • Shares -2.1% premarket.
  • Oct. 2, 2013, 8:03 AM
    • Monsanto (MON): FQ4 EPS of -$0.47 misses by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $2.20B misses by $0.04B. (PR)
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  • Oct. 2, 2013, 12:05 AM
  • Oct. 1, 2013, 5:30 PM
  • Oct. 1, 2013, 4:52 PM
    • Monsanto (MON +1%) halts construction of a $150M corn processing plant in Argentina after protests by environmentalist group "The Argentine Malvinas Assembly" disrupted flow of work supplies.
    • Scheduled to come on-line in the first months of next year, the plant's timetable is "now in doubt," Monsanto official Pablo Vaquero said.
    | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 13, 2013, 5:43 PM
    • Monsanto (MON) is under investigation after samples of alfalfa tested positive for genetically-modified traits in Washington state, according to reports yesterday.
    • If confirmed, it would be the second known case of GMO contamination in a major U.S. crop since May, when university scientists confirmed the presence of a banned GM wheat growing in a farmer's field in Oregon.
    • The suspected outbreak comes in the run-up to a ballot measure in the state that would require mandatory labeling of all GMO foods.
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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.