Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) will report its fiscal second-quarter financial results Wednesday before the opening bell. The Thomson Reuters consensus estimates call for earnings per share (EPS) of $2.93 and $5.58 billion in revenue. In the previous year, Monsanto posted $3.15 in EPS and $5.83 billion in revenue.
Near-term headwinds in agriculture persist, but Monsanto believes that it has the ability to deliver new solutions to help farmers improve yields while efficiently using resources. That provides the opportunity to deliver growth in both the current environment and over the longer term. However, this quarter is not looking good. The company expects these earnings to be down 5% to 10% year-over-year, as it stated in its most recent earnings report.
The 50-day moving average (MA) currently reads at $118.53, above the share price. The stock crossed under the 50-day MA at the beginning of March and tested the MA all through January. Monsanto shares crossed under the 200-day MA in the middle of March. However, prior to this, the MA had remained under shares since November.
At the beginning of March, Barclays initiated coverage of Monsanto with an Equal Weight rating and a price target of $131, implying an upside of 16% from current prices. Just the day before earnings were reported, Canaccord Genuity reiterated a Buy rating and lowered its price target to $143 from $149, implying upside of 27%. The consensus analyst price target is $135.15.
In the most recent short interest report, Monsanto had a reading of 11.2 million shares, with 4.3 days to cover. This is right in its normal range, but way down from the highest reading of the year in mid-July at 45.0 million.
Shares were relatively flat at $112.82 on Tuesday afternoon, in a 52-week trading range of $105.76 to $128.79.