The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

June 27, 2012

Monsanto 3Q profit soars, maintains year view

NEW YORK — A mild winter spurred farmers to sow crops earlier and in larger numbers, allowing seed company Monsanto Co. to reap a 35-percent higher profit in its fiscal third quarter.

The U.S. agricultural giant also maintained its full-year earnings forecast after boosting it last month.

The St. Louis company, which produces genetically engineered seeds and the herbicide Roundup, earned $937 million, or $1.74 per share, in the quarter ended in May. That’s compared with $692 million, or $1.28 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $4.22 billion.

Monsanto’s adjusted profit of $1.63 per share, which excludes a tax benefit, topped analysts’ expectations of $1.55. Its sales figure also beat analysts’ consensus view of $3.97 billion, according to FactSet.

Sales of corn seeds and traits, by far the company’s biggest segment, rose 35 percent to $1.52 billion. Corn is used not just for food, but also for fuel, animal feed and syrup for soda.   

Soybean seed and trait sales, the company’s next largest segment, rose 15 percent to $698 million. Sales of vegetable seeds were the only declining segment.

Monsanto confirmed its adjusted profit forecast of $3.65 to $3.70 per share for the fiscal year. The company expects year-over-year ongoing earnings to grow up to 25 percent for the fiscal year that ends in August.

 

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