Monsanto Company (MON): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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 Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Monsanto Company fell $3.06 (-3.1%) to $94.99 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,239,743 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,089,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $94.90-$97.56 after having opened the day at $97.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $98.05. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), down 34.4%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 12.5%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 10.3% and Gulf Resources ( GURE), down 7.0%.

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 $51.7 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 3.6% 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, Methes Energies International ( MEIL), up 42.7%, International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), up 26.0%, Samson Oil & Gas ( SSN), up 12.6% and TransAtlantic Petroleum ( TAT), up 12.1% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Cenovus Energy ( CVE) 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).

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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