Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monsanto Profit Tops Estimates; 2010 Outlook Repeated (MON)

The stock is down $1.32 at $74.02.
First up, the nuts and bolts from Bloomberg:
Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed producer, reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates because of higher corn and vegetable seed sales. The company maintained its forecast for 2010 earnings.

Profit in the three months that ended Aug. 31 was 2 cents a share, excluding some items, St. Louis-based Monsanto said today in a statement. The average estimate of 13 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for profit of 1 cent. The net loss widened to $233 million, or 43 cents a share, from $172 million, or 31 cents, a year earlier, largely because of restructuring costs.

Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant is cutting 8 percent of the workforce as farmers spend less and Chinese competitors sell cheaper generic versions of the company’s Roundup herbicide. Monsanto repeated its 2010 earnings forecast after two earlier cuts in the outlook for the glyphosate-based weed killer.

“We expect continued growth in seeds and genomics gross profit, offset by a sharp decline in Roundup/glyphosate,” Donald Carson, a New York-based analyst at UBS AG, said in an Oct. 5 report. “We anticipate a cautious start to fiscal 2010.” He rates the shares “buy.”>>>MORE

And from Blogging Stocks (be careful, look at that first sentence):

Monsanto: Pull-back is Buy opportunity

Monsanto's (NYSE: MON) stock has not cooperated since the June 15, 2009 Buy recommendation, as the shares have drifted about 10% lower.

Still, nothing has changed regarding MON's value proposition, hence I'm Reiterating my June 15, 2009 Buy recommendation, when shares were at $84.97. Higher-value-added, next-generation seeds will see substantial demand increases as the economic recovery progresses. Moreover, there is ample room to expand international sales, as emerging markets continue to develop their agriculture sectors and seek higher per acre yields.
True, fertilizer prices slipped as the end of the northern hemisphere growing season approached, and this perhaps explains at least some of MON's recent 10% stock price dip.

Even so, from a technical standpoint, the stock price decline will represent a triple-bottom, provided MON holds support in the $69-$72 range. A sustained drop below $68 would be bearish. Hence, the Sell/Stop Loss has been revised to $62 from the earlier $41....