On January 5, 2017, Monsanto announced its fiscal 1Q17 earnings. It reported ongoing EPS (earnings per share) of $0.21 per share and as-reported EPS of $0.07 per share. That was better than analysts’ estimate of flat earnings. Both ongoing and as-reported EPS were better than -$0.11 and -$0.56 per share, respectively, in 1Q16.
Of the 18 Wall Street analysts covering Monsanto, three of them have given the stock a “strong buy,” and eight have given it a “buy” for the next 12 months. Seven analysts have recommended a “hold,” and none of them have given it a “sell” or a “strong sell.” The recommendations haven’t changed since our last report in January.
Last year, Monsanto agreed to a buyout offer from Bayer for $128 per share. However, Monsanto stock continues to trade below that price. Investors seem doubtful that the deal will get through antitrust regulators.
Wall Street analysts have a next 12-month price target of $120.50 per share for Monsanto stock, which is a slight rise from $119.80 last month. On February 21, 2017, Monsanto closed at $110.60. That was 8.2% lower than the analysts’ price target.
The company is slowly moving toward Bayer’s acquisition price as the agribusiness environment picks up. That’s reflected in fertilizer companies (SOIL) (COMP-INDEX) such as PotashCorp (POT), Mosaic (MOS), and CF Industries (CF).
Next, we’ll take a look at FMC Corporation (FMC).