NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Monsanto ( MON) are up 12% year-to-date and are trading just off a new 52-week high. However, regardless of what the stock price may say, this is not an extraordinarily well-liked company.Despite the strong rebound in the stock and consistent operational improvements by management, bears are still looking for ways to discredit the company while dismissing all of the recent market advantages management has created. Although I don't own the stock, I've found myself coming to the company's defense quite a bit. But it's time for some perspective.
What's not to like? I get it -- the stock is not cheap when compared to DuPont and Syngenta. But it's not as if the valuation is undeserved, especially given a recent 7% improvement in operating margin, which (by the way) is twice that of DuPont and 7 percentage points better than Syngenta. Let's have some perspective.