When it comes to agribusiness stocks, there is perhaps no name bigger than Monsanto Company (MON) – the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate and the second biggest producer of genetically engineered seeds. Headquartered in St. Louis, the firm has grown into an over $55 billion company, with operations spanning across the U.S., Europe, Africa, Brazil, Asia-Pacific, Argentina, Canada and Mexico [for more agricultural news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
In the world of oil and gas investing, big names like Exxon Mobil and Chevron are usually what come to mind, as these mega-companies seem to dominate the industry. There are, however, a small subset of companies that have certainly solidified their place in many investors’ portfolios: independent oil and gas. While the market capitalization of these companies may be small, their attractive returns and growth potential warrant a closer look [for more oil and gas news subscribe to our free newsletter].
Last week, Texas-based independent oil and natural gas explorer Anadarko (APC) announced one of its largest oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico. Immediately following the press release, shares of the company, as well as the well’s co-owners ConocoPhillips (COP) and Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO), rallied, prompting many analysts to redraw their estimates for Anadarko. Many have noted that this discovery may very well be a “game changer” for the popular explorer [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The natural gas industry has exploded in size over the past several years, as new production techniques have increased reserves and driven down the commodity’s price. With the United States potentially holding enough reserves to last a century at current consumption levels, many see natural gas as both an economical solution to a potential energy shortage, and an environmentally friendly alternative to coal and other dirty fossil fuels [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”) are well known among investors for their stellar yields, but they can come at the cost of a high payout ratio. By comparing dividends to profits, the payout ratio is commonly used to determine the sustainability of a dividend yield. MLPs often have higher payout ratios due to their flow-through status, but investors should seek out payout ratios below 90% if they are concerned about long-term sustainability [for more MLP news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].