Will This Price Target Decrease Hurt Monsanto (MON) Stock Today?

Story updated at 10 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- UBS raised its price target for Monsanto (MON) to $132 from $139 Monday.

Shares of Monsanto fell -0.4% to $119.47 in morning trading.

The analyst firm reiterated its "buy" rating for the company. UBS analysts tempered Monsanto's numbers due to the company's spend rate and Roundup decline.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates MONSANTO CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MONSANTO CO (MON) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • MON's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.22 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, MON has a quick ratio of 1.76, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for MONSANTO CO is rather high; currently it is at 58.96%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.18% is above that of the industry average.
  • MONSANTO CO' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MONSANTO CO increased its bottom line by earning $4.56 versus $3.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.22 versus $4.56).
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MONSANTO CO has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MON Ratings Report

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

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.

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