June 30, 2010

by Wade Hansen

If you are looking for a textbook downtrend, you need look no further than agricultural giant Monsanto (MON). Since hitting a high just above $85 in early January, Monsanto has been on an uninterrupted escalator down to $45.

Unfortunately for Monsanto, today’s disappointing earnings announcement is going to do nothing to help change that situation.

Monsanto announced that it only earned $0.70 per share last quarter — compared to the $1.25 per share the company earned last year. So earnings are off by 44% while the stock price is off by 47% this year.

It looks like poor Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicide sales are largely to blame for Monsanto’s struggles. It’s not that farmers and others aren’t buying as much herbicide. The problem is the price of these herbicides has declined from $35 a gallon a few years ago to current levels of $8 to $11 a gallon.
Fans of the movie Food, Inc. are certainly happy to see Monsanto struggling, but shareholders may want to consider cutting their losses at this point as it doesn’t look like Monsanto is going to recover anytime soon.