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Monsanto Could Be Activist Target: J.P. Morgan

Analysts at J.P. Morgan upgraded Monsanto Co. to overweight from neutral on Thursday, citing the possibility that activist investors could get involved with the agricultural firm. The investment bank also raised its target share price on the company to $125 from $115. Analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas wrote in a Thursday report that there is a "reasonable possibility of an activist appearance," though he has no knowledge of any such intentions. Zekauskas wrote: "We see a number of opportunities for value creation at Monsanto, including increasing balance sheet leverage and splitting the company into parts. Monsanto has underperformed the market year to date by (3.6%) and it underperformed the market by (6%) in 2013." Shares in Monsanto were up 2.1% premarket at $116.85. The firm reported earnings early Wednesday that topped analyst forecasts.Copyright © 2014 MarketWatch, Inc....

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