Shares of Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) rose 3.4% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $107.72 and last traded at $104.55, with a volume of 9,637,155 shares. The stock had previously closed at $101.13.

Several research firms recently weighed in on MON. Vetr upgraded Monsanto from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $91.48 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, April 11th. Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating on shares of Monsanto in a report on Saturday, April 9th. Berenberg Bank decreased their price target on Monsanto from $120.00 to $110.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, March 21st. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price target (down previously from $105.00) on shares of Monsanto in a report on Thursday, April 7th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Monsanto from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, May 12th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $108.37.

The stock has a market capitalization of $45.27 billion and a PE ratio of 45.53. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $105.89 and a 200 day moving average of $95.36.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 29th. The company reported $2.17 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.40 by $0.23. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $2.39 earnings per share. The business earned $4.19 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.49 billion. Monsanto’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Monsanto Co. will post $4.46 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 8th will be given a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 6th.

In other Monsanto news, CEO Michael K. Stern sold 12,797 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.77, for a total value of $1,302,350.69. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 21,583 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,196,501.91. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director George Poste sold 1,136 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.93, for a total value of $104,432.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 34,619 shares in the company, valued at $3,182,524.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BOKF NA raised its position in Monsanto by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. BOKF NA now owns 11,203 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,104,000 after buying an additional 441 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in Monsanto by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,344 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,118,000 after buying an additional 379 shares during the period. Haverford Trust Co. raised its position in Monsanto by 6.7% in the fourth quarter. Haverford Trust Co. now owns 11,901 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,172,000 after buying an additional 750 shares during the period. Private Advisor Group LLC raised its position in Monsanto by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 12,082 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,190,000 after buying an additional 592 shares during the period. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its position in Monsanto by 25.3% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 16,013 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,578,000 after buying an additional 3,233 shares during the period.

Monsanto Company (Monsanto) is a provider of agricultural products for farmers. The Company’s seeds, biotechnology trait products, and herbicides provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity, reduce the costs of farming, and produce better foods for consumers and better feed for animals. It manages business in two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity.

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