8. Monsanto (MON - Get Report) is a leading provider of agricultural products for farmers worldwide. The company operates through its subsidiaries in these main segments: Seeds, Genomics and Agricultural Productivity. The company provides seeds, develops biotechnology trait products and herbicides for farmers.
For the first quarter of 2011, the company reported an 8% increase in net sales and swung to a net income of $6 million from a loss of $19 million in the year-ago quarter. Heading into 2011, based on its first-quarter results, the company expects earnings per share in the range of $2.72 and $2.82 and capital expenditure between $600 million and $700 million. Of the total spend, 43% is allocated toward biotech. Furthermore, nine biotech projects are advancing across platforms that were added in the past two years.
Monsanto and Sapphire Energy recently announced an agreement to enter a multi-year collaboration that will leverage Sapphire's algae-based research platform to discover genes that could be applied to agriculture. Monsanto says it will make an undisclosed equity investment in Sapphire.Of the 25 analysts covering the stock, 40% recommend a buy while 52% rate a hold. Data from Bloomberg has analysts forecasting the stock gaining 5.5% to $76.2 in the upcoming 12 months.