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Monsanto (MON) Secures Tech License from Broad Institute

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Monsanto Company recently secured a global non-exclusive license from The Broad Institute for usage the CRISPR-Cas genome-editing technology. This agreement is expected to improve the company’s genome-editing research, thereby further equipping it with non-imitable germplasm and genome products.

As per the latest authorization provided by The Broad Institute, Monsanto would be able to use the CRISPR-Cas technology in variable agricultural applications. The company would be able to endorse site-directed amalgamation of specific genes and even boost valuable or eliminate unwanted plant characteristics, with the aid of this fresh genome-editing technology. Such techniques would empower plant breeders to deliver new varieties and superior quality of hybrids in the near term. Hence, the new licensing treaty is likely to give rise to an extensive collection of crop developments to global agriculture.

Henceforth, this novel technology license gained by Monsanto is likely to provide more responsible solutions to farmers and assist them in meeting the demands of the soaring global population. Any supplementary detail of the deal has not been publicly disclosed.

We perceive that the aforesaid announcement of this licensing agreement would further raise investors’ confidence toward Monsanto’s stock.

Moving Ahead

Monsanto currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Over the last 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has remained unchanged for fiscal 2016, however has been revised upwards for fiscal 2017.

Sluggish global economy, lower investments in agricultural inputs, volatile weather patterns, and sturdy competition in grain exports have been putting pressure on agricultural chemical companies like Monsanto.

At this moment, the company largely relies on Bayer AG’s (BAYRY - Free Report) all-cash $66 billion buyout deal for strengthening its business in the near term. Both the companies look forward to successfully close the transaction by 2017. Bayer’s latest bid of $128 per share is at premium of 22.8%, over Monsanto’s closing share price of $104.20 per share, as of Sep 22, 2016. Besides, Bayer has pledged to reimburse a break-up fee of $2 billion to Monsanto, in case there is a deal blockage due to regulatory turmoil.

Stocks that Warrant a Look

Some better-ranked stocks within the industry include Limoneira Company (LMNR - Free Report) and Cosan Limited (CZZ - Free Report) .

Limoneira Company presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Over the preceding 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has been revised upwards by 42.4% and 5.9%, for fiscal 2016 and 2017, respectively. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Cosan Limited currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has been revised upwards by 25% and 43.2%, for 2016 and 2017 respectively, over the last 60 days.

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