Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the last twelve 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 30 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has remained unchanged for fiscal 2018.”

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on MON. BidaskClub raised Monsanto from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a sector perform rating and set a $128.00 target price (up from $120.00) on shares of Monsanto in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on Monsanto from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $126.00 target price (up from $125.00) on shares of Monsanto in a report on Monday, July 10th. Finally, Vetr lowered Monsanto from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $122.35 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Monsanto presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $123.43.

Shares of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) opened at 117.42 on Tuesday. Monsanto has a 52 week low of $97.35 and a 52 week high of $118.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $51.59 billion, a PE ratio of 25.36 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a 50-day moving average of $117.22 and a 200-day moving average of $116.24.

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

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This report was originally posted by TheOlympiaReport and is owned by of TheOlympiaReport. If you are accessing this report on another website, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of United States & international copyright and trademark law. The legal version of this report can be read at https://theolympiareport.com/2017/09/09/monsanto-company-mon-cut-to-hold-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 27th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 5th. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.84%. Monsanto’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 46.75%.

In other news, EVP Robert T. Fraley sold 52,410 shares of Monsanto stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.95, for a total transaction of $6,181,759.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Steven Mizell sold 11,300 shares of Monsanto stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.57, for a total value of $1,339,841.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 55,011 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,522,654.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 71,133 shares of company stock worth $8,397,515. Company insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Monsanto during the 2nd quarter valued at about $114,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Monsanto during the 2nd quarter valued at about $116,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Monsanto during the 1st quarter valued at about $113,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its holdings in shares of Monsanto by 230.1% during the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,076 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 750 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Armbruster Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Monsanto by 12.2% during the 2nd quarter. Armbruster Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,147 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 125 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.79% of the company’s stock.

Monsanto Company Profile

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Monsanto (MON)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

Receive News & Ratings for Monsanto Company Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Monsanto Company and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.