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Prop 37 Failure Signals Solid Future for Monsanto

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Plus, WASDE report shows strong corn production and lower prices.

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This column highlights the past week's most interesting and useful business and financial news related to agriculture from around the Web.

"Monsanto Should Keep Plowing Along"
The failure of Prop 37 in California -- which, if passed, would have required all genetically modified food to be labeled as so -- signals a big win for the agricultural biotech company Monsanto (NYSE:MON). While movements against GM foods exist all across the world, consumers on average are still keen on purchasing food sans the 'organic label.' Read more at InvestorPlace.

"Yet Another Leak at Dow Chemical"
An accidentally emailed draft of Dow Chemical's (NYSE:DOW) plans to lay off 5% of its workforce and shutter 20 factories worldwide forced the company to rush its earnings report and investor conference call last week. In addition to the layoffs, earnings were down, with a 39% dip in quarterly profit from $375 million last year to $175 million currently. The company already has a D rating (GMI Ratings), and could see its rating fall even further. Read more at Business Insider.

"Are These Spin-Offs Worth Investing In?"
One of this year's least-talked-about spin-offs is Hillshire (NYSE:HSH), which split from the now-private Sara Lee in June. Shares of the meat product and service provider are up 6.3% since then, although this is below shares of competitors Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) and Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), which have risen 7.2% and 20.1% in the same time, respectively. In a recent earnings report, Hillshire boasted a $53 million gain versus more than a $200 million loss in the same quarter last year, pre-split. Read More at Insider Monkey.

"Buy CF Industries to Play Growing Nitrogen, Agri Markets"
CF Industries (NYSE:CF) reported strong earnings last week, explaining lower costs across the board and higher prices for its ammonia products helped drive an expected third quarter adjusted EPS of 5.85%. Adding to a strong future outlook are higher grain prices and higher farmer income, which translate into more money diverted to fertilizer purchases. Read more at Seeking Alpha.

"Top 4 Nasdaq Stocks in the Food-Major Diversified Industry With the Highest EPS"
Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM), Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC), Zhongpin (NASDAQ:HOGS), and Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) make the list. Read more at Benzinga.

"Agrium Misses Ests, Profit Tanks"
Agricultural nutrient maker Agrium (NYSE:AGU) saw $1.11 EPS for 3Q, far below Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.81. Profit was down 56%, and revenue was down 6% compared to last year. Read more on Nasdaq's Analyst Blog.

"WASDE Report Bullish for Livestock Producers"
The USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) projected corn production will rise by 19 million bushels, with stocks projected to be 28 million bushels higher at 647 million bushels. This has driven corn prices down by $0.20 at the midpoint, in a range between $6.95 to $8.25 per a bushel. Soybean production is up 111 million bushels from last month, driving soybean and soybean product prices down. Global Oil seed production is up. Beef and pork production is down, which means higher prices will reflect tightened supply. Read more at National Hog Farmer.

[Many investors have exposure to corn and soybean prices through the Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEARCA:CORN) and the Teucrium Soybean Fund (NYSEARCA:SOYB).]

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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