|Bid||74.09 x 28400|
|Ask||74.12 x 2100|
|Day's Range||73.80 - 74.14|
|52 Week Range||52.02 - 78.34|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.18|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Feb 27, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||2.80 (3.71%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Apr 29, 2019|
|1y Target Est||120.99|
European stocks advanced on Monday, edging higher as China took further steps to limit the fallout from the coronavirus halting activity in the world’s second-biggest economy.
(Bloomberg) -- Bayer AG’s loss in the first U.S. trial over the herbicide dicamba is set to test the patience of investors who’ve stuck with the company through the dark days of its Roundup crisis.Most will probably hang on for now, since their investment is based on the assumption that Bayer is undervalued in the face of a hurricane of lawsuits claiming that best-selling weed killer Roundup causes cancer. Adding dicamba to the legal storm -- a chemical accused of killing plants, not people -- probably won’t change that calculus, according to Alistair Campbell, an analyst at Liberum Capital. And Bayer is sharing the potentially multibillion-dollar headache in this case with BASF SE.Even so, the loss in the first U.S. dicamba trial -- with a $265 million jury award -- raises fresh questions about the wisdom of Bayer’s $63 billion Monsanto takeover. That’s happening at a time when the company still needs to prove it can effectively operate the crop science behemoth it built up through its megadeal.“There is still a huge question mark over the Monsanto transaction and what it’s done to Bayer,” Campbell said. “There remains a lot to be proven.”Bayer shares were down 1.9% and BASF’s down 1.1% at 3:10 p.m. in Frankfurt. Bayer has dropped 23% since it closed the Monsanto acquisition and subsequently lost three U.S. trials over Roundup.Bayer’s latest headache emerged Saturday when jurors in a federal court ruled in favor of a farmer who blamed the chemical dicamba for destroying his peach orchards. Bayer and BASF face more than 140 lawsuits over allegations that dicamba wreaked havoc across the Midwestern U.S. when it drifted onto crops that weren’t engineered to resist it.Bayer is already trying to settle tens of thousands of lawsuits claiming exposure to Roundup causes cancer. Both dicamba and Roundup are produced by Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in 2018.The loss heaps more pressure on Bayer Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann, who staked his career on Monsanto. Last April, after a couple of Roundup trial losses, Baumann became the first CEO of a major German company in decades to lose a shareholder confidence vote.Activist investor Elliott Management later disclosed a stake in the company, raising the prospect of holders pushing to split up the pharma and agro-chemicals conglomerate. Baumann, a defender of that setup, faces another shareholder vote in April.Act FastSince dicamba is another legacy Monsanto product, the latest verdict threatens to undo Bayer’s recent momentum. Since June, the stock has recouped about half of the value it lost following the Roundup trial losses.The ruling is “a negative for sure,” though dicamba will probably not grow into a headache as big as Roundup, said Dennis Berzhanin, an analyst at Pareto Securities in Frankfurt.Here is what analysts say about the Dicamba rulingThe company vowed to appeal, saying there’s no evidence Monsanto’s products were present on the Missouri farm and were responsible for the farmer’s losses.BASF said it was surprised by the U.S. jury’s decision and would use all legal remedies available.Bayer has thus far managed to avoid going back to trial over Roundup and talks have heated up with plaintiff attorneys toward a possible resolution of that litigation. Its shares would probably surge if Bayer can close the Roundup headache for as little as $10 billion, analysts have said.The Roundup and dicamba litigation aren’t Bayer’s only legal woes. It’s set to go to trial in March in the first of thousands of lawsuits claiming it hid safety risks of its Essure birth-control device.Other CasesThe company is also battling lawsuits by numerous cities alleging that Monsanto contaminated waterways with toxic PCBs. Bayer has denied wrongdoing over both weedkillers as well as Essure and PCBs. It also has appealed the Roundup verdicts.It’s unclear how the award will be split between Bayer and BASF. The latter may shoulder two-thirds of the damages, wrote Daniel Wendorff, an analyst at Commerzbank AG.Read More: Bayer’s Roundup Challenge: Avoid More ‘Nuclear’ Jury AwardsMonsanto has been fighting lawsuits since 2015 over its version of dicamba. BASF makes its own dicamba-based herbicide for use on its genetically modified seeds.The companies say the crop damages stem from farmers applying the chemical incorrectly, and that current formulations won’t drift if proper procedures are followed.Peach YieldsIn the Missouri trial, Bader said neighbors planted dicamba-resistant cotton engineered by Monsanto and sprayed it with the older, easy-drift version of the weedkiller made by BASF. The herbicide enveloped his orchards, curling leaves and killing trees.The companies’ lawyers presented statistical evidence showing that Bader’s peach yields had begun to fall prior to 2015. They cited weather events, such as hail storms and late freezes, as the cause for declining production.Bev Randles, a lawyer for Bader, said the verdict sends a message to all U.S. corporations.“There is no giant too big,” she said. “Everyone has to follow the law.”The case is Bader Farms v. Monsanto Co., 16-cv-00299, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (Cape Girardeau).\--With assistance from Richard Weiss and Andrew Noël.To contact the reporters on this story: Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware at firstname.lastname@example.org;Tim Bross in St. Louis at email@example.com;Tim Loh in Munich at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at email@example.com, Thomas MulierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
German industrial giants Bayer and BASF moved lower on Monday after a jury ordered them to pay $265 million to a Missouri peach farmer following a lawsuit over the weedkiller Dicamba
European shares inched higher on Monday as fresh attempts by China to limit the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak helped calm investor nerves. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% in early trade, staying slightly below a record high of 432.26 touched last week. Market activity is expected to be light through the rest of the day on account of a U.S. holiday.
A jury in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, handed Bader, the state's largest peach farmer, $15 million in actual and $250 million in punitive damages. The three-week trial was the first case in the United States to rule on the use of dicamba-based herbicides alleged to have damaged tens of thousands of acres of U.S. cropland. The herbicide can become a vapor and drift for miles when used in certain weather, farmers have claimed.
A social media backlash in the US over data sharing concerns has forced Bayer’s digital farming business to end a partnership with a start-up linking landowners and farmers. Bayer’s Climate Corporation and Tillable felt the full force of “ag Twitter” when many farmers, who use the social media site to exchange information and tips, raised concerns about data sharing between the two after the farmland rental platform sent marketing letters to landowners saying they could help them secure higher rents.
A Canadian federal court has ordered a group of major agriculture companies to hand over records and communications as part of an antitrust probe sparked by allegations certain businesses tried to block online farm-supply startup Farmers Business Network Inc (FBN). In a series of court orders dispatched on Tuesday, Canadian Federal Court Justice Denis Gascon said he was satisfied Canada's Competition Bureau was conducting an antitrust probe and that the named companies - which include Bayer AG , Corteva Inc, and BASF - would have or were likely to have information relevant to the inquiry.
Bayer AG has asked a California appeals court to overturn an $86 million verdict that found it was responsible for a couple's cancer caused by its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup. In a Friday night filing with the California First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco, the company said the jury's verdict could not be reconciled with either the law or sound science. The May verdict by a California jury drew nationwide attention for its massive damages, with the jury awarding more than $2 billion to Alberta and Alva Pilliod, who sprayed Roundup on their property for more than three decades to destroy weeds.
Bayer has said it is engaged in mediation to resolve the litigation, which has hit its share price since it acquired Roundup as part of its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto in 2018. The person said that Bayer believes an agreement with plaintiffs' attorneys to ban advertising would limit the company's future legal exposure since the "vast majority" of U.S. law firms that would bring such claims would be bound by the agreement. Bayer declined to comment.
Bayer, which acquired Roundup maker Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, denies the allegations, saying decades of studies and regulatory approvals have shown glyphosate and Roundup to be safe for human use. Bayer has appealed or vowed to appeal all verdicts against it, but said the litigation will take some time to conclude as no case has been subject to appellate review to assess key legal rulings in the trials. Bayer in late April 2019 asked the appeals court to throw out the judgment, saying there was "no evidence" glyphosate could cause cancer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it finished a regulatory review that found glyphosate, the most widely used weed killer in the United States, is not a carcinogen. The conclusion reaffirms the agency's stance on glyphosate, the key ingredient in Bayer AG's Roundup, despite judgments by U.S. juries that have found that use of the weedkiller was responsible for plaintiffs' cancer in some trials. "EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen," the agency said in a statement.
More than 42,700 plaintiffs claim Roundup causes a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Bayer to date has lost three U.S. jury trials in the Roundup litigation. The company is appealing or has vowed to appeal the decisions, saying Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate are not carcinogenic and safe for human use.
Bayer on Friday won an endorsement from the European Union's drug regulator for its prostate cancer drug darolutamide, putting it on track for approval, as it takes on rival products by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. An expert panel at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the drug for approval for use in early-stage prostate cancer that does not respond to hormonal therapy to slow its spread to other body parts, the German drugmaker said on Friday. The European Commission, which has the final word on drug approval in the EU, typically adopts the EMA experts' view.
U.S. seeds and agricultural chemicals maker Corteva Inc said Thursday that it will accelerate production of its next-generation biotech soybean seeds and complementary herbicides in the United States and Canada over the next five years. The move heightens the competition for sales to farmers with rivals Bayer AG and BASF SE. Up to 20% of U.S. soybean acres this year could be planted with Corteva's Enlist E3 soybeans, which are genetically modified to withstand applications of three different weed killers, the company said.
Bayer is considering stopping sales of the weedkiller glyphosate to private users who apply it in their gardens, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Thursday, citing financial and corporate sources. The plaintiffs blame Bayer's glyphosate-based weedkillers for their cancer. Bayer was not immediately available for comment.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") downgraded Elanco Animal Health Incorporated's ("Elanco") unsecured ratings to Ba2 from Baa3. At the same time, Moody's assigned a Ba1 Corporate Family Rating and a Ba1-PD Probability of Default Rating.
The fourth jury trial in the Roundup litigation was scheduled to begin in St. Louis on Friday morning, but never got underway as lawyers for the company and the cancer patients sat down to discuss a hold of the trial. St. Louis is the hometown of Roundup-maker Monsanto, a unit Bayer acquired in a $63 billion (48 billion pounds) deal in 2018. Three consecutive juries previously found the company liable for causing cancer with damages of tens of millions of dollars awarded to each plaintiff.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors aren’t waiting for a definitive deal to end the mass of lawsuits against Bayer AG before snapping up the shares. The German life sciences group’s 75 billion euro ($83 billion) market value is up some 26 billion euros in seven months on hopes that thousands of claims related to its glyphosate-based Roundup weedkiller, accused of causing cancer, might be resolved in a settlement. There’s a risk that shareholder expectations are getting carried away.Talks about a deal do appear constructive, based on the tone of limited statements made by the legal mediator Ken Feinberg. Bayer’s lawyers have in some discussions proposed the firm pays $8 billion to settle existing suits and sets aside $2 billion for future claims, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. That was well received by the market, which pushed up Bayer stock as much as 4%. The $10 billion total is consistent with the cost that analysts have put on a settlement.What’s striking about Bayer is that despite its recent rally the stock still trades at a substantial discount to peers, and removing this would be worth much more than the settlement costs being discussed. The company trades at 9 times expected Ebitda. Its pharmaceutical peers command valuations of 11.2 to 17.5 times. Just getting to a valuation matching its cheapest counterparts would add about 20 billion euros of market value, after deducting the estimated cost of ending litigation. A re-rating toward the average of its peer group would see Bayer’s market value rise even more substantially.Investors are right to retain a degree of caution amid the evidence of progress. What Bayer’s lawyers put forward in talks is only a piece of the jigsaw. The number for a final cap on the cost of the glyphosate litigation remains unknown. Bayer has suggested it’s willing to fight if an acceptable figure cannot be agreed. Citing studies, the company says glyphosate is safe when used as directed. There remains a real possibility that the saga endures for longer than investors believe.The other difficult question is whether Bayer deserves a valuation more generous than that commanded by its cheapest peers — such as GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Sanofi and Roche Holding AG. The same management is in place that led Bayer into this mess via an overpriced $66 billion acquisition of U.S. seeds group Monsanto Co. (the owner of Roundup). The touted benefits of that deal, and the logic of marrying crop science and pharmaceuticals, are yet to manifest themselves fully in sales and profit.A premium valuation will need to be earned. From here, the gains to Bayer’s shares will depend on definitive progress both on the litigation — and on operational performance.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.