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Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Monsanto Company (MON)?

Monsanto (MON)Is Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) a healthy stock for your portfolio? Money managers are buying. The number of bullish hedge fund positions went up by 4 recently.

To the average investor, there are tons of metrics shareholders can use to monitor the equity markets. A duo of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top fund managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Just as integral, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of stimuli for a bullish insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a look at the latest action encompassing Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON).

What have hedge funds been doing with Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 63 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 7% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly.

Of the funds we track, Lone Pine Capital, managed by Stephen Mandel, holds the biggest position in Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON). Lone Pine Capital has a $703.8 million position in the stock, comprising 3.7% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is John Griffin of Blue Ridge Capital, with a $320.6 million position; the fund has 4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish include Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management, Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors and Bain Capital’s Brookside Capital.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names have jumped into Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) headfirst. Point State Capital, managed by Sean Cullinan, created the most valuable position in Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON). Point State Capital had 54.7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global also initiated a $52.3 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new MON investors: Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management, Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace LLP, and Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital.

How have insiders been trading Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time frame, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 11 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON). These stocks are CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF), Agrium Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AGU), Mosaic Co (NYSE:MOS), Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT), and Syngenta AG (ADR) (NYSE:SYT). This group of stocks belong to the agricultural chemicals industry and their market caps match MON’s market cap.

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