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

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 higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Monsanto Company rose $1.19 (1.1%) to $112.59 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,411,305 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,503,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $111.46-$112.92 after having opened the day at $111.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $111.40. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Thompson Creek Metals Company ( TC), up 17.8%, Senomyx ( SNMX), up 17.2%, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 9.6% and Uranium Resources ( URRE), up 9.2%.

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 $59.3 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 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 growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, China Natural Resources ( CHNR), down 15.7%, North American Palladium ( PAL), down 11.6%, Tonix Pharmaceuticals ( TNXP), down 10.8% and Timberline Resources Corporation ( TLR), down 9.2% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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).

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