Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Monsanto Plunges on Concerns About SmartStax Corn-Seed Yields" (MON)

 The stock is down $4.52 (8.52%) at $48,55.
We haven't looked at MON very often over the last few months. The stock was oozing down on an ongoing series of dissapointments but I had no conviction on the short side. [chicken -ed]
I'll get back to posting on it after the shake-out.
From Bloomberg:

Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, fell the most in four months in New York amid concerns that its new SmartStax corn seeds aren’t performing as well as predicted.

Monsanto, based in St. Louis, dropped $3.58, or 6.8 percent, to $49.49 at 11:06 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the biggest decline among companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The shares earlier fell as much as 8.4 percent, the biggest intraday drop since May 27.

Early harvest data show SmartStax seeds, which have eight added genes to protect against weeds and bugs, are yielding 3 percent to 5 percent less than cheaper seeds with two or three added traits, said Laurence Alexander, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in New York.
“The initial data is weaker than we expected,” Alexander, who is based in New York and rates the shares “hold,” said in a report today.

Monsanto will provide credits for 2011 seed purchases to farmers who are dissatisfied with SmartStax corn or Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans, and that could become a “headwind” for the company next year, he said. Monsanto said Sept. 20 that early harvest data showed some new SmartStax corn hybrids were missing yield projections....MORE