Monsanto (MON) Is Today's Unusual Social Activity Stock

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 an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Monsanto as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • MON has 20x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 8.29 mentions/day.
  • MON has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $271.4 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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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 24. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Monsanto a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Monsanto has been 3.1 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Monsanto has a market cap of $53.6 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. The stock has a beta of 1.16 and a short float of 1.4% with 2.74 days to cover. Shares are down 4.3% 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 expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for MONSANTO CO is rather high; currently it is at 61.94%. Regardless of MON's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MON's net profit margin of 27.41% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $169.00 million or 14.18% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 14.18%, MONSANTO CO is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 101.57%.
  • 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. In comparison 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 greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • MONSANTO CO's earnings per share declined by 7.9% 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 ($5.76 versus $5.13).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 14.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 10.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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