Monsanto Company (MON): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

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 Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Monsanto Company fell $1.09 (-1.1%) to $96.25 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,669,747 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,041,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $95.74-$97.88 after having opened the day at $97.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $97.34. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Ceres ( CERE), down 6.8%, Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 6.2%, Verenium Corporation ( VRNM), down 5.5% and Landec Corporation ( LNDC), down 4.9%.

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 $50.6 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 2.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 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, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Yongye International ( YONG), up 11.7%, Metabolix ( MBLX), up 7.4%, Ferro ( FOE), up 7.3% and Valhi ( VHI), up 4.9% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Huntsman Corporation ( HUN) being today's featured chemicals industry leader.

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

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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