Russell Investments Group Ltd. reduced its stake in shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) by 14.6% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 457,559 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 78,245 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd.’s holdings in Monsanto were worth $54,158,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. First PREMIER Bank increased its stake in shares of Monsanto by 4.2% in the first quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 901 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 36 shares in the last quarter. Whitnell & Co. increased its stake in shares of Monsanto by 35.4% in the first quarter. Whitnell & Co. now owns 979 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 256 shares in the last quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Monsanto during the first quarter valued at about $113,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Monsanto during the first quarter valued at about $113,000. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors increased its stake in shares of Monsanto by 3.9% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 1,193 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.31% of the company’s stock.

Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) traded down 0.260% during trading on Thursday, reaching $117.035. The company had a trading volume of 740,225 shares. Monsanto Company has a 12-month low of $97.35 and a 12-month high of $118.97. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $117.49 and a 200 day moving average price of $115.01. The stock has a market cap of $51.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.278 and a beta of 1.07.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.19. Monsanto had a net margin of 14.11% and a return on equity of 45.26%. The company had revenue of $4.23 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.18 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.17 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Monsanto Company will post $4.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 7th were issued a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, July 5th. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.84%. Monsanto’s payout ratio is 46.75%.

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Several brokerages recently issued reports on MON. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $125.00 price target (up from $122.00) on shares of Monsanto in a report on Friday, April 14th. BidaskClub upgraded Monsanto from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Vetr upgraded Monsanto from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.35 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Barclays PLC increased their price target on Monsanto from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC downgraded Monsanto from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $128.00 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $123.15.

In other news, SVP Janet M. Holloway sold 7,423 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.00, for a total transaction of $875,914.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 33,645 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,970,110. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Janet M. Holloway sold 3,337 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.00, for a total transaction of $393,766.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 44,405 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,239,790. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In 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.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

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