by Serge Berger | April 3, 2014 8:29 am
Agricultural giant Monsanto (MON) reported second-quarter earnings yesterday, and despite a sheepish reaction in Monsanto stock, shares still look set up for a shimmy in coming weeks.
Monsanto earnings for Q2 came to $3.15 per share, topping estimates of $3.09. MON also beat on the top line at $5.83 billion, about $30 million over the consensus target. Year-over-year, sales were 7% and EPS were up 15%.
Outlook was OK, too. Monsanto expects earnings to hit a range of $5.02 to $5.22 per share, which is slightly under Wall Street’s bar of $5.26.
Nonetheless, good growth in most of the company’s products netted a slight 0.4% bump in Monsanto stock Wednesday.
Before looking at Monsanto’s stock charts, it is important to understand that the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO) — which boasts MON stock as its second-largest holding at 7.98% — poses a decidedly bullish posture.
Ever since its October 2011 lows, the MOO ETF has worked higher, leaving a series of lower highs behind. For most of 2013, MOO traded sideways to lower, but the past two months’ rally has brought it right back into a resistance area that dates back to last summer.
From here, it looks like the eventual course of action will take MOO higher, as it wants to move to a higher high vs. its early 2013 high.
Keeping the big picture for ag stocks in mind, the weekly chart of Monsanto stock looks stable, with the upward-trending channel from 2010 still firmly in place. It is important to understand that the agricultural stocks are in a good part inversely correlated to the movements in the U.S. dollar (i.e., commodities like various agricultural seeds that are priced in dollars move up when the dollar goes down, and vice versa). In that vein, the move off the 2010 lows in Monsanto stock is at least partially due to a falling dollar.
Either way, the uptrend continues, and for the time being that’s all I need to know from this longer-term chart.
Looking at the daily time frames: Monsanto stock formed formed a solid higher low at its 200-day moving average (red line) in early February, which led the stock to also push back above its 50- and 100-day MAs a few weeks later. Yesterday, MON shares tried their best to break past lateral resistance around the $115 area, which has been firmly in for all of 2014. While pushing above here intraday, they again failed to do so on a daily closing basis.
However, given the positive posture on the weekly and daily charts, as well as a solid picture for agricultural stocks overall, I think it is only a matter of time until Monsanto stock pushes past $115 and toward $122.50.
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Download Serge’s trading plan in the Essence of Swing Trading e-book here. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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