Top 5 Global Agriculture Stocks By Market Cap

For years, investors have been touting the lucrative opportunities that can be found in the agricultural sector. Legendary investor Jim Rogers is perhaps best known for his love of this industry, as he believes that agricultural prices are still depressed and that the current ‘commodity supercycle’ still has another 10 to 15 years to go before it runs out.  And given  the insatiable demand from rising Asian nations, as well as rapid population growth in the near future, the winds appear to be at the backs of various agricultural commodities and their producers for years to come. For those who have a bullish outlook on the agricultural industry, we outline five of the biggest agribusiness companies by market cap [for more gold news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Monsanto Co. (MON)

Quick Stats as of (9/21/2012)

  • Market Cap: $48.5 billion
  • EPS: 4.00
  • Avg Vol: 3.0 million
  • Beta: 1.47

This company is home to a market cap of $48.5 billion and trades approximately 3 million times a day. Monsanto is relative newcomer to the agricultural chemicals industry, but since its founding in 2000 it has become one of investors’ top picks in the industry. Headquartered in St Louis, Monsanto’s operations are split into two segments: seeds and genomics, and agricultural productivity. The company produces a wide variety of seeds including corn, soybean, canola and cotton. In addition, Monsanto develops biotechnology traits to help farmers control insects and weeds as well as produces several different herbicides. The stock took a hefty tumble in late 2008, and since then has struggled to make up lost ground. MON does however boast an EPS of 4.00 and currently provides a relatively attractive 1.7% dividend yield.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc. (POT)

Quick Stats as of (9/21/2012)

  • Market Cap: $37.9 billion
  • EPS: 2.88
  • Avg Vol: 6.1 million
  • Beta: 1.05

A Canadian firm, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan is one of that largest producers and sellers of fertilizers and industrial and feed products in the United States and Canada. Like many stocks on this list, POT suffered major losses during the financial crisis in 2008 with its share price tumbling over 60%. Since then, the stock has struggled to find a definitive direction with 2012 proving to be a no easier year for the company. From a fundamental standpoint, POT is not as attractive as MON with its slightly lower EPS and dividend yield. In terms of liquidity however, POT dominates as its shares exchange hands roughly 6 million times a day [see also Invest Like Jim Rogers With These Three Agriculture Stocks].

Syngenta AG (SYT)

Quick Stats as of (9/21/2012)

  • Market Cap: $33.7 billion
  • EPS: 3.64
  • Avg Vol: 189,000
  • Beta: 1.14

With a total market cap of $33.7 billion, SYT comes in third place on the list. Headquartered in Switzerland, this firm has its hand in nearly every corner of the agricultural chemicals market, producing and marketing a wide range of products designed to enhance crop yields and food quality worldwide. After losing more than half of its value in 2008, the stock managed to climb even high than its pre-recession highs; currently SYT is up over 22% year-to-date. In comparison to other stocks on this list however, Syngenta’s average daily trading volume is significantly lower with only 189,000 shares exchanging hands a day.

Deere & Company (DE)

Quick Stats as of (9/21/2012)

  • Market Cap: $32.5 billion
  • EPS: 7.49
  • Avg Vol: 4.3 million
  • Beta: 1.4

This company is involved in yet another segment of the agricultural space, providing products and services for agriculture and forestry worldwide. The farm machinery giant  is home to a market cap of over $32.5 billion, and its shares trade roughly 4.3 million times a day. Founded in 1837 in Illinois, the company has flourished, growing to one of the most well-known and respected names in the industry. Despite taking a big hit in 2009, DE has managed to stay in positive territory for the past two years, hitting its all time high in March of 2011. Taking a closer look at the stock reveals a juicy dividend yield of 2.3% and an appealing EPS of 7.49.

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)

Quick Stats as of (9/21/2012)

  • Market Cap: $17.8 billion
  • EPS: 1.84
  • Avg Vol: 4.9 million
  • Beta: 0.72

For investors looking to diversify their agricultural holdings, Archer Daniels Midland Company is a nice pick as the firm provides exposure to the consumer side of the industry. ADM engages in the manufacturing and sale of protein meal, vegetable oil, corn sweeteners, flour, biodiesel, ethanol, and other value-added food and feed ingredients. Also located in Illinois, the company got its start in 1898 and since then has solidified its place in the consumer farm product industry. Despite surging to all time highs in mid 2008, the stock has struggled to make up lost ground and has faltered significantly thus far in 2012 [see also 50 Ways To Invest In Agriculture].

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

About Daniela Pylypczak

Daniela Pylypczak-Wasylyszyn is a regular contributor to CommodityHQ.com, where she primarily focuses on commodity producers equities. She is also an analyst for ETFdb.com, where she contributes articles and analysis each week. Since joining the team in 2011, Daniela has quickly grown to be one of the most widely-followed authors in the industry. Her articles are syndicated in a number of online publications, including Financial Advisor Magazine, Fidelity.com, and Yahoo! Finance. Daniela is also a contributor for TraderHQ.com and Dividend.com. Daniela graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics.
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