The agricultural giant, Monsanto Company (MON - Analyst Report) recently acquired Israeli plant trait developer Rosetta Green Ltd. Rosetta Green is a bio-engineering company, specializing in identifying unique genes and developing improved plant traits for the agriculture and biofuel industries.
Rosetta Green was formed in the year 2010, following a spin-off from Rosetta Genomics Ltd. and went public in the year 2011. According to “Globes”, an Israeli news provider, the deal is worth $35.0 million, where Rosetta Genomics will have no share. However, the news channel also reported that Rosetta Genomics has sued Rosetta Green for seeking a share in the total transaction value.
Monsanto said that Rosetta Green’s operations in Israel will remain undisturbed, while its employees will continue to perform their roles with Monsanto. The move is seen to benefit Monsanto immensely as the RiboNucleicAcid (RNA) technology that Rosetta uses blends well with Monsanto’s existing research projects.
Monsanto reported impressive first quarter fiscal 2013 results in January. Sales increased 20.5% year over year to $2.9 billion. The increase was led by strong businesses from corn, seed and traits. Also, earnings soared 170% to 62 cents per share year over year. Based on the outstanding performance by its business segments, the company enhanced its earnings outlook for fiscal 2013 to a range of $4.30-$4.40 from the previously announced range $4.18-$4.32 per share.
Also, in late January, Monsanto acquired a few assets of Agradis Inc., an agricultural solutions provider. The acquisition involved the purchase of the brand name “Agradis” and a collection of the company’s microbes, useful for improving crop productivity. With the purchase of Agradis’ assets, Monsanto will be able to offer better products and solutions to its customers, which can result in improved crop health and productivity.
Monsanto currently bears a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks worth a look in the chemicals sector are Rentech Nitrogen Partners (RNF) and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD - Analyst Report); also carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).