BMO Capital Markets reissued their buy rating on shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) in a research report sent to investors on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $128.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock.

A number of other research firms have also commented on MON. UBS AG lowered shares of Monsanto from a positive rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc restated a neutral rating and issued a $128.00 price objective (up from $125.00) on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Vetr upgraded shares of Monsanto from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $122.35 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a sector perform rating and issued a $128.00 price objective (up from $120.00) on shares of Monsanto in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on shares of Monsanto from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Monsanto has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $125.64.

Monsanto (NYSE MON) traded down 0.11% during trading on Thursday, hitting $119.73. The company had a trading volume of 1,466,853 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $52.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.86 and a beta of 1.07. Monsanto has a 52-week low of $97.35 and a 52-week high of $120.50. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $118.18 and its 200-day moving average is $117.00. Monsanto also was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors bought 63,484 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,793% compared to the average volume of 3,354 put options.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 4th. The basic materials company reported $0.20 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.41) by $0.61. Monsanto had a net margin of 15.44% and a return on equity of 42.40%. The firm had revenue of $2.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.51 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.07 EPS. Monsanto’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Monsanto will post $5.65 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 5th. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.80%. Monsanto’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 42.27%.

In related news, EVP Robert T. Fraley sold 52,410 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.95, for a total transaction of $6,181,759.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 22,640 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.03, for a total transaction of $2,717,479.20. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 85,439 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,255,243.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 77,910 shares of company stock worth $9,242,439. 0.79% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in Monsanto during the second quarter worth about $114,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Monsanto during the second quarter worth about $116,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its holdings in Monsanto by 230.1% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,076 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 750 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its holdings in Monsanto by 3.9% during the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 1,193 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Armbruster Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Monsanto by 12.2% during the second quarter. Armbruster Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,147 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. 74.81% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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