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Monsanto (MON) Arm Buys Farm Management Firm VitalFields

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Monsanto Company’s (MON - Free Report) business subsidiary, The Climate Corporation, recently acquired VitalFields for an undisclosed amount. VitalFields is a Tallinn, Estonia based European farm management company. The company offers user friendly tools to farmers, for managing, planning and evaluating variable field activities.

Monsanto believes that this transaction would boost Climate Corporation’s competency. The acquisition is also in sync with the company’s goal to deliver a centrally connected digitalized agricultural platform to farmers around the world. VitalFields’ tools would be marketed in Europe under Monsanto’s tag.

Benefit for Monsanto

Prior to the above mentioned buyout, Monsanto’s venture capital arm – Monsanto Growth Ventures (‘MGV’) – had made certain investments in VitalFields, in order to include it within the MGV portfolio.

Monsanto believes that including VitalFields tools would complement Climate Corporations’ Climate FieldView platform’s offerings in the near term. VitalFields’ digital agricultural tools would make the operations of European farmers more sustainable and efficient. Moreover, the VitalFields buyout is Climate Corporation’s first step in the European market.

In Sep 2016, Monsanto accepted Bayer AG’s (BAYRY - Free Report) all-cash $66-billion buyout offer. However, the deal has yet not passed through any regulatory hurdles.

Zacks Rank and Share Price

Monsanto currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Extensive industry rivalry, unfavorable commodity prices, a stronger U.S. dollar and dismal climatic conditions in certain niche markets are all hurting Monsanto’s revenues and margins.  

Share price of the company was $101.75 per share as of Nov 22, 2016.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks within the industry include The Chemours Company (CC - Free Report) and Coeur Mining, Inc. (CDE - Free Report) .

The Chemours Company currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and has an average positive earnings surprise of 153.83% for the four trailing quarters. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Coeur Mining also boasts a Zacks Rank #1 and has an average positive earnings surprise of 277.67% for the last four quarters.

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