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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Monsanto ( MON) as a pre-market laggard candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Monsanto as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • MON has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $451.9 million.
  • MON traded 20,516 shares today in the pre-market hours as of 8:00 AM.
  • MON is down 2.2% today from yesterday's close.

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More details on MON:

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 1.7%. MON has a PE ratio of 22.6. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Monsanto a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Monsanto has been 3.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Monsanto has a market cap of $54.5 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. The stock has a beta of 0.89 and a short float of 2.3% with 2.72 days to cover. Shares are down 5.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Monsanto as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, MONSANTO CO's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for MONSANTO CO is rather high; currently it is at 55.51%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.46% is above that of the industry average.
  • MONSANTO CO's earnings per share declined by 29.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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 $5.13 versus $4.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.82 versus $5.13).
  • MON, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.10, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Chemicals industry. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.90 is weak.

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