Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $131.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 12.08% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Over the last six months, Monsanto’s shares outperformed the industry. The company reported better-than-expected third-quarter fiscal 2017 results. Increasing demand for crop-yield enhancing products, stronger innovation and success of Bayer’s buyout deal are anticipated to bolster Monsanto’s top- and bottom-line performance in the quarters ahead. However, challenging pricing conditions prevailing in the agricultural market might limit near-term growth. In addition, headwinds like weaker currencies of major overseas markets, such as Brazil, or stiff industry rivalry remain major causes of worry. Over the last seven days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has remained unchanged for both fiscal 2017 and 2018.”

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on MON. UBS AG lowered Monsanto from a “positive” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $128.00 price objective on Monsanto and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $128.00 price objective on shares of Monsanto in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC cut Monsanto from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $128.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on Monsanto from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $123.43.

Shares of Monsanto (MON) opened at 116.88 on Tuesday. Monsanto has a 12-month low of $97.35 and a 12-month high of $118.97. The stock has a market cap of $51.35 billion, a PE ratio of 25.24 and a beta of 1.07. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $117.23 and a 200 day moving average price of $115.65.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, June 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.19. Monsanto had a return on equity of 45.26% and a net margin of 14.11%. The firm had revenue of $4.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.18 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $2.17 EPS. Monsanto’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Monsanto will post $4.89 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, EVP Robert T. Fraley sold 52,410 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.95, for a total value of $6,181,759.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Janet M. Holloway sold 3,337 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.00, for a total value of $393,766.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 44,405 shares in the company, valued at $5,239,790. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 74,470 shares of company stock worth $8,791,281. Insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MON. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Monsanto by 2,390.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,192,816 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,965,029,000 after buying an additional 25,140,936 shares in the last quarter. OZ Management LP acquired a new position in Monsanto during the second quarter worth approximately $242,786,000. York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC boosted its position in Monsanto by 58.4% in the first quarter. York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC now owns 4,087,116 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $462,662,000 after buying an additional 1,506,057 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in Monsanto by 2,540.4% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,491,324 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $176,515,000 after buying an additional 1,434,844 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Flossbach Von Storch AG boosted its position in Monsanto by 33.9% in the first quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG now owns 4,089,400 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $462,920,000 after buying an additional 1,034,400 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.79% of the company’s stock.

About Monsanto

Monsanto Company (Monsanto), along with its subsidiaries, is a provider of agricultural products for farmers. The Company provides seeds, biotechnology trait products, herbicides and digital agriculture tools to farmers. The Company operates through two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity.

Analyst Recommendations for Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

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