Agricultural manufacturer Monsanto ( MON) is slated to announce its first-quarter 2010 earnings on Jan. 6, making it one of the first large-cap stocks to set the tone for next year's fundamentals.
The company, which produces seeds, biotech trait products, and herbicides for farmers internationally, has had a mediocre couple of quarters as its share price languished in spite of a developing rally among agricultural stocks. But that's set to change going into 2010, as investors begin to realize that Monsanto's value potential warrants buying this year. Next week's earnings release could prove to be just the catalyst to make that happen. And this week's lower volume could translate into a pre-earnings pop that's much to the benefit of those who are already long shares.