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Sally Jones
Sally Jones
Articles (580) 

Hunger Games, 22 Billionaires Hold Monsanto as GMO Food Fight Continues

August 29, 2013 | About:

The world’s largest seed company, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), is at the very core of the genetically modified food debate that divides millions over the pending world food supply. Monsanto’s products and technologies are central to the ongoing safety and ethics debate of genetically engineered and genetically modified foods, and the “terminator” seed. Monsanto’s use of biotechnology and seed patents is often critiqued in the media and by various organic foods and consumer associations.

Monsanto Company dominates an estimated 40% of the conventional seed market in the U.S. and 20% worldwide, causing GMO concern around the globe. A worldwide protest was launched against Monsanto Company in May 2013 when 71 U.S. senators voted against an amendment that would have guaranteed states the right to enact mandatory GMO labeling laws. About that protest, NaturalNews reported: “Two million people in over 50 countries expressed outrage over Monsanto's desire to own the food supply through genetically-altered (and patented) seeds that threaten all life on this planet.” In mid-August, thousands of Chileans protested a bill dubbed the “Monsanto law” that would let multinationals patent GMO seeds, according to GM Watch.

Incorporated in 2000, Monsanto Company is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. The company is up 11% over 12 months, with a market cap of $51.78 billion; its shares were traded at around $97.86 with a P/E ratio of 21.00 and a P/B of 3.80.

Monsanto is a provider of agricultural products including seeds, biotechnology trait products, and herbicides. Through its Seeds and Genomics segment, Monsanto produces seed brands, including DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine, Seminis and De Ruiter, and develops biotechnology traits that control insects and weeds. It also provides other seed companies with genetic material and biotechnology traits for its seed brands. Monsanto produces directly or contract with third-party growers around the world for corn seed, soybean seed, vegetable seeds, cotton seed, canola seed and other seeds.

On June 26, 2013, Monsanto Company reported fiscal year 2013 results: For the first nine months, net sales increased $1.3 billion over the prior year period to approximately $12.7 billion. Net sales for the quarter were $4.2 billion. Operating expenses were up $11 million in the third quarter compared to the same period in the prior year. Quarterly research and development expenses were up 5% to $392 million compared to the prior year period. The company's third quarter earnings per share (EPS) was $1.66 on an ongoing and $1.68 on an as-reported basis. EPS for the first nine months of fiscal year 2013 was $5.01 on an ongoing basis and $5.05 on an as-reported basis.

Tracking historical share price, revenue and net income:


Monsanto Company’s dividend yield over 13 years:


Guru Action in Second Quarter

As of June 30, 2013, 22 billionaires hold MON shares. The top billionaire stakeholder of MON is PRIMECAP Management with 12,225,167 shares or 2.28% of shares outstanding, followed by Chris Davis with 6,309,475 shares or 1.18 shares outstanding; Steve Mandel is third, with 6,207,263 shares or 1.16% of shares outstanding.

Five gurus bought or added MON in the second quarter, while seven reduced their MON holding and four gurus sold out as of June 30, 2013.

GURU ACTION: As of June 30, 2013, Andreas Halvorsen increased his position by 747.42%, buying 3,700,588 shares at an average price of $104.72, for a loss of 6.9%.

His highest gain was 40% in the third quarter of 2011 when he bought 843,700 shares at an average price of $69.66 per share.

GURU ACTION: As of June 30, 2013, John Burbank bought a new holding after selling out in the first quarter of 2013. He bought 102,389 shares at an average price of $104.72, for a loss of 7.3%.

His highest gain was 75.4% in the third quarter of 2010 when he bought 110,000 shares at an average price of $55.38 per share.

GURU ACTION: As of June 30, 2013, Pioneer Investments increased its position by 209.66%, buying 652,995 shares at an average price of $104.72, for a loss of 7.3%.

The firm has averaged a gain was 12% on 2,142,545 shares bought at an average price of $87.05 per share. On shares sold, the firm averaged a gain of 32% on 1,178,103 shares sold at an average price of $73.68 per share.

GURU ACTION: As of June 30, 2013, Steven Cohen decreased his position by 67.24%, selling 306,297 shares at an average price of $104.72, for a loss of 7.3%.

He has averaged a gain was 18% on 2,364,550 shares bought at an average price of $82.61 per share. On shares sold, he averaged a gain of 10% on 2,215,335 shares sold at an average price of $88.19 per share.

GURU ACTION: As of June 30, 2013, four billionaires sold out their MON positions: Meridian Funds, John Hussman, Joel Greenblatt, and Tom Russo each took a loss of 7.3% on the holding.

Study more of the Monsanto Company trades here.

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About the author:

Sally Jones
Sally Jones writes about Real Time Picks. She says, "I truly enjoy watching the Gurus in realtime and telling their story."

Rating: 3.0/5 (3 votes)


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GuruFocus has detected 6 Warning Signs with Monsanto Co $MON.
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