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8 Ag Chem Stocks With Upside Up to 128%: Analysts

8. Monsanto (MON) 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.

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