Lazard Asset Management LLC lessened its position in shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) by 18.0% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 532,034 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 116,560 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC owned about 0.12% of Monsanto worth $62,969,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Swiss National Bank grew its holdings in Monsanto by 25.6% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,676,066 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $189,731,000 after acquiring an additional 341,400 shares in the last quarter. United Services Automobile Association grew its holdings in Monsanto by 5.6% during the 1st quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 265,378 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $30,041,000 after acquiring an additional 14,076 shares in the last quarter. Nikko Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its holdings in Monsanto by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Nikko Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 450,700 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $53,345,000 after acquiring an additional 5,700 shares in the last quarter. Aviva PLC grew its holdings in Monsanto by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 304,501 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $36,052,000 after acquiring an additional 3,569 shares in the last quarter. Finally, WFG Advisors LP grew its holdings in Monsanto by 19.4% during the 1st quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 2,377 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $269,000 after acquiring an additional 387 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.78% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have commented on the stock. UBS AG cut shares of Monsanto from a “positive” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $128.00 price target on shares of Monsanto in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC cut shares of 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. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Monsanto from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $132.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their price target on shares of Monsanto from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $124.09.

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In other news, EVP Robert T. Fraley sold 52,410 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.95, for a total transaction of $6,181,759.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Steven Mizell sold 11,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.57, for a total transaction of $1,339,841.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 55,011 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,522,654.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Monsanto Company (NYSE MON) opened at 119.77 on Friday. Monsanto Company has a 12 month low of $97.35 and a 12 month high of $119.82. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $117.37 and its 200-day moving average is $116.53. The stock has a market cap of $52.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.87 and a beta of 1.07.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, June 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.18 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.17 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Monsanto Company will post $4.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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 issued a dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 5th. Monsanto’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 46.75%.

Monsanto 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

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