Monsanto (NYSE:MON), the king of corn, has shown an uncanny ability to weather a turbulent market. With second-quarter earnings coming in at a record setting pace and the recent double bottom in the stock price, Monsanto looks set for a new 52-week high.
Monsanto is the world's leading producer of the herbicide known as "Roundup" and the leading manufacturer of genetically engineered seeds - holding a 70%-100% market share on various crops.
The company recently released its second-quarter 2008 earning and absolutely crushed estimates. Monsanto earned $2.02 per share, 18% higher than analyst estimates of $1.72. Revenue also jumped an amazing 45% to $3.8 billion from $2.6 billion in the year prior period.
There has been a lot of talk about Monsanto being a overbought super bubble, but let's face the facts - Monsanto has the numbers and earnings to justify the recent stock price increase. Yes, Monsanto has a P/E ratio around 40, but it is growing at an aggressive rate and this is to be expected. (For further reading, check out Analyze Investments Quickly With Ratios.)
Just take a look at rival Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), the fertilizer company has had an above average P/E ratio (36 as of today) for quite a while now, and that hasn't stopped it from reaching new highs on a regular basis.
The Double Bottom
Straying away from the fundamentals isn't for everyone, but once in a while a technical trend is so prominent, it is impossible to ignore. Over the last couple of months Monsanto's stock price has been forming what technical analysts like to call a double-bottom reversal pattern.
The double bottom is one of the major stock reversal trends in technical analysis. The aftermath of such a pattern usually results in new 52- week highs. The basic shape of a double-bottom is the letter "W", with the right part of the "W" slightly lower than the left part. The volume is also important. The volume should be higher at the first bottom and lower when the bottom is retested. (To see the double bottom, check out the three-month chart for Monsanto.)
This is exactly what is going on with Monsanto. You can see similar patterns in for look at United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) in December of 1997 and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) in February of 2000. These are classic double bottoms and each time the stock reached new 52-week highs. (To learn more, read Trading Double Tops and Double Bottoms.)
The Bottom Line
At this moment in time, Monsanto has everything going for it: solid fundamentals, excellent technicals and plenty of media coverage. If Monsanto breaks above the upper resistance level of the double bottom, then the stock could breakout.
To find out how you can combine the best of both worlds, read Blending Technical And Fundamental Analysis.