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Monsanto Jumps on China Trade as Farmer Lawsuit Dismissed

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Monsanto ( MON) was jumping Monday after a U.S. appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by organic farmers aimed at protecting them against legal action by the agricultural products maker, and China approved the importation of several of the company's seeds.

Monsanto, the world's largest seed company with $13.5 billion in sales in 2012, added 4.5% to close at $106.25.

Creve Coeur, Missouri-based Monsanto's patents won't be scrutinized after a U.S. court of appeals dismissed a case brought by organic farmers concerned the company would sue if more than trace amounts of Monsanto traits were found in their crops. Monsanto claimed that they would not take action over accidental contamination of fields even making "binding assurances."

The farming community brought the lawsuit in March 2011 as a preemptive measure, skeptical of Monsanto's aims after the company Monsanto filed over 800 cases against planters over the past five years charging them with utilizing their products without paying royalties.

"Monsanto's binding representations remove any risk of suit against the appellants as users or sellers of trace amounts (less than one percent) of modified seed," Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk wrote as explanation for the ruling.

Separately, China approved the import of some of Monsanto's genetically modified and genetically engineered seeds, a development that Morgan Stanley analyst Vincent Andrews called "the single most important box in our Monsanto investment thesis.''

Monsanto faced lawsuits in Brazil and Argentina over patent and intellectual disputes over their Roundup Ready soybeans. The Roundup Ready variant is less susceptible to the herbicide glyphosate that the company markets under the Roundup brand. Monsanto aims to win approval to sell these seeds in Brazil next year and in Argentina by 2015.

"Intacta is the key opportunity to get paid for soybeans in South America, and it is the key 2014-plus growth driver," said Andrews, who has an overweight rating on the shares with a 12-month price target of $125.

Norberto Yauhar, Argentina's Agriculture Minister said in a June 8th statement that China approved the import of the Intacta Soybeans and 3 other genetically altered products.
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