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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Monsanto Company ( MON) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Monsanto Company fell $1.72 (-1.6%) to $106.59 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,547,079 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,414,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $106.53-$108.41 after having opened the day at $108.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $108.31. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Asanko Gold ( AKG), down 23.6%, Keegan Resources ( KGN), down 23.6%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 13.3% and Entree Gold ( EGI), down 12.8%.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protege, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

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 $57.9 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, FX Energy ( FXEN), down 38.0%, BMB Munai ( BMBM), down 31.6%, Torch Energy Royalty ( TRU), down 30.4% and Sinocoking Coal and Coke Chemicals ( SCOK), down 25.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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).

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.