Monsanto (MON) and Compass Minerals International (CMP) Head to Head Review

Compass Minerals International (NYSE: CMP) and Monsanto (NYSE:MON) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends and profitability.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Compass Minerals International and Monsanto, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Compass Minerals International 0 3 0 0 2.00
Monsanto 0 7 8 0 2.53

Compass Minerals International presently has a consensus target price of $67.00, indicating a potential upside of 4.52%. Monsanto has a consensus target price of $123.62, indicating a potential upside of 5.77%. Given Monsanto’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Monsanto is more favorable than Compass Minerals International.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Compass Minerals International and Monsanto’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Compass Minerals International $1.24 billion 1.75 $248.20 million $3.58 17.91
Monsanto $14.52 billion 3.54 $4.19 billion $4.62 25.30

Monsanto has higher revenue and earnings than Compass Minerals International. Compass Minerals International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Monsanto, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

75.3% of Monsanto shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.8% of Compass Minerals International shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.8% of Monsanto shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Compass Minerals International pays an annual dividend of $2.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. Monsanto pays an annual dividend of $2.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Compass Minerals International pays out 80.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Monsanto pays out 46.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Compass Minerals International has increased its dividend for 13 consecutive years and Monsanto has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Compass Minerals International is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Compass Minerals International and Monsanto’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Compass Minerals International 9.83% 10.01% 3.06%
Monsanto 14.11% 45.26% 11.37%

Risk & Volatility

Compass Minerals International has a beta of 0.45, suggesting that its share price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Monsanto has a beta of 1.07, suggesting that its share price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Monsanto beats Compass Minerals International on 14 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Compass Minerals International Company Profile

Compass Minerals International, Inc. (CMI) is a provider of essential minerals that solve nature’s challenges, including salt for winter roadway safety and other consumer, industrial and agricultural uses; specialty plant nutrition minerals for the quality and yield of crops, and specialty chemicals for water treatment and other industrial processes. The Company has three segments: Salt, Plant Nutrition North America and Plant Nutrition South America. The Salt segment produces and markets salt and magnesium chloride for use in road deicing and dust control, food processing, water softeners, and agricultural and industrial applications. Its Plant Nutrition North America segment includes sales of sulfate of potash (SOP) specialty fertilizer and micronutrients. The Plant Nutrition South America segment operates two primary businesses in Brazil: agricultural productivity and chemical solutions.

Monsanto Company Profile

Monsanto Company (Monsanto), along with its subsidiaries, is a provider of agricultural products for farmers. The Company provides seeds, biotechnology trait products, herbicides and digital agriculture tools to farmers. The Company operates through two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Through its Seeds and Genomics segment, the Company produces seed brands, including DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine, Seminis and De Ruiter, and it develops biotechnology traits that assist farmers in controlling insects and weeds and digital agriculture to assist farmers in decision-making. The Seeds and Genomics segment offers products, such as Germplasm and Biotechnology traits. Through its Agricultural Productivity segment, the Company manufactures Roundup brand herbicides and other herbicides and provides lawn-and-garden herbicide products for the residential market.

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