Shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) gapped up prior to trading on Monday . The stock had previously closed at $121.94, but opened at $122.30. Monsanto shares last traded at $122.31, with a volume of 1,175,181 shares changing hands.

Several brokerages have issued reports on MON. UBS AG downgraded shares of Monsanto from a “positive” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Monsanto from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Sunday, July 16th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Monsanto from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 30th. Wells Fargo & Company increased their price objective on shares of Monsanto from $107.50 to $118.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $128.00 price target on shares of Monsanto and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $124.61.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $118.79 and a 200 day moving average of $117.33. The stock has a market cap of $53.80 billion, a PE ratio of 24.06 and a beta of 1.07.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 4th. The basic materials company reported $0.20 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.41) by $0.61. The company had revenue of $2.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.51 billion. Monsanto had a return on equity of 42.40% and a net margin of 15.44%. The business’s revenue was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.07 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Monsanto Company will post $5.70 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 27th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.76%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 5th. Monsanto’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.27%.

In other Monsanto news, VP Duraiswami Narain sold 2,860 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $343,200.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, COO Brett D. Begemann sold 22,640 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.03, for a total value of $2,717,479.20. Following the completion of the transaction, 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 sold 37,026 shares of company stock worth $4,440,341. Insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. acquired a new position in Monsanto in the second quarter worth $114,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Monsanto in the second quarter worth $116,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in Monsanto by 230.1% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,076 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $128,000 after purchasing an additional 750 shares in the last quarter. Armbruster Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Monsanto by 12.2% in the second quarter. Armbruster Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,147 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $136,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its stake in Monsanto by 3.9% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 1,193 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. 74.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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