Agricultural chemicals manufacturer
) recently received its board of directors' approval for increasing
its dividend payout to 49 cents per share or $1.96 on an annualized
basis. Representing a 14.0% hike compared with the previous
dividend of 43 cents per share, the increased dividend will be paid
by Monsanto on Oct 31 to shareholders of record on Oct 10.
With the latest rise, the company has increased its dividend
five times since fiscal 2010, recording a cumulative increase of
85%. Monsanto has strategically aligned its priorities to benefit
its shareholders through continuous dividend payments and share
repurchases. This dividend hike was supported by the company's
disciplined capital allocation and strong, flexible balance sheet
position along with a consistent cash flow.
Earlier in Jun 2014, the company announced its plan to
repurchase approximately $10 billion of common stocks with an
existing authorization of $1.1 billion. The latest authorization
includes a $6 billion accelerated share repurchase program which
came into effect in Jul 2014.
In Jun this year, the company reported fiscal third-quarter 2014
(ended May 31, 2014) results with earnings per share of $1.62,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.55 per share by 4.5%.
However, revenues of $4,250.0 million fell short of the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $4,368.0 million. The company intends to
streamline its debt structure in the near term. Monsanto is
targeting a debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortization (EBITDA) ratio of 1.5 by the end of fiscal
With a market capitalization of $60.3 billion, Monsanto holds a
Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry
include The Andersons, Inc. (
), Gruma S.A.B. de CV (
) and Limoneira Company (
). While The Andersons sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Gruma
and Limoneira Company hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
MONSANTO CO-NEW (MON): Free Stock Analysis
ANDERSONS INC (ANDE): Free Stock Analysis
LIMONEIRA CO (LMNR): Free Stock Analysis Report
GRUMA SA-ADR B (GMK): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.