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Monsanto Company (MON): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Monsanto Company ( MON) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Monsanto Company rose $1.44 (1.3%) to $112.40 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,286,495 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,585,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $111.04-$112.43 after having opened the day at $111.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $110.96. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Methes Energies International ( MEIL), up 53.8%, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), up 13.7%, Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 11.6% and Avalon Rare Metals ( AVL), up 10.0%.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $58.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, CGG ( CGG), down 16.2%, Thompson Creek Metals Company ( TC), down 9.8%, DRDGold ( DRD), down 9.7% and Lilis Energy ( LLEX), down 8.5% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Halliburton Company ( HAL) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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