Monsanto Tenth Most Innovative Company in U.S., Forbes Says

Monsanto is a huge, environment-contaminating, organic-seed-modifying beast, sure, but the company must be doing alright. After all, Forbes loves them. The business magazine recently released its list of the country's most innovative companies, and Monsanto hits the rankings high, at No. 10 overall.

The list's order was determined through the use of what the magazine calls an "innovation premium." Per Forbes, that mark measures "how much investors have bid up the stock price of a company above the value of its existing business based on expectations of future innovative results (new products, services and markets)." In other words, it's not just what they're doing today; it's how well investors think they'll be doing tomorrow.

For the record, Forbes is the same magazine that named the St. Louis-based pesticide king Company of the Year in 2009. As the city's fourth biggest publicly traded businesses, Monsanto employs 21,400 people and boasts an annual sales revenue of $10.64 billion. In case you missed it, we said billion.

The biotech company is not far away in the overall rankings from national business meccas such as Amazon (No. 2) and Google (No. 7), but we can't help wondering: Where would it be ranked on a scale that judged a company's ability to alter the environment -- or strong-arm its critics?

In the past five years, Monsanto averaged 13.4 percent annual growth and a 44.7 percent jump in net income; its current market cap is an estimated $36.23 billion. The chemical company received additional props for its recent work on scientifically engineered broccoli and onions.

Monsanto was not the only well-known St. Louis business to make the list, though it was ranked the highest by far. Two other local names made Forbes' cut: Anheuser Busch InBev reached No. 53, while Emerson Electric hit No. 64.

Check out the total list and the magazine's judging process at Forbes' website.