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Yahoo BusinessFeb 17, 2020
Bayer's Dicamba Hit Tests Patience of Frustrated Investors
(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 mor
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