Agri Business giant, Monsanto Company (MON - Analyst Report) laid out new five-year strategic plan with an outlook for strong international revenue growth, targeting Brazil and China.
Brazilian government regulation, public and private investment in agriculture as well as farming population drives Monsanto to target the world’s key soybean-producing and the second-largest exporter country, for improving their efficiency, while enhancing yield.
Monsanto’s sales in Brazil totaled $1.066 billion in 2010, which was about 10% of total revenue. With the intention of a stronger growth and business generation, Monsanto has been expanding its Brazilian research teams, adding sales staff as well as developing products, aimed at Brazilian farmer needs.
The company is planning to launch a new genetically altered soybean seed, "Intacta", designed to resist Brazilian caterpillar pests and tolerate treatment of herbicide. This product is uniquely developed for a non-U.S. market expected to commence in fiscal 2013.
Monsanto also lists China as one of its top growth target based on rising incomes and surging demand. The ongoing alliance with the Chinese chemicals conglomerate Sinochem Corp, is anticipated to design and launch hybrid corn seed and tap the rapidly growing Asian corn market.
The risk of strict foreign investments limitations in China however remains a concern for the company. Moreover, the Chinese counterfeit seed producers are stepping up production trying to jump-start a homegrown agrotechnology. Monsanto thus plans for a longer term investment in Chinese Agri market.
Mention may be made of U.S, wherein Monsanto has already planted its strong footprint and aims diversification and growth going forward.
Missouri-based Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading global provider of agricultural products for farmers in the United States and internationally. Monsanto's biotechnology research and rich product pipeline provides market leadership above its peers, such as Syngenta AG (SYT - Analyst Report), The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (SMG - Snapshot Report), The Dow Chemical Company (DOW - Analyst Report), BASF SE (BASFY.PK).
We currently maintain a long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock. Monsanto has a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating (1-3 months).