WASHINGTON - Monsanto (MON) reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings Wednesday on higher sales of the company's insect-repelling and herbicide-resistant soybean seeds in Latin America.
Despite an 8.6 percent increase in
profit the company left its full-year fiscal guidance unchanged, sending shares
slightly lower in premarket trading.
The company reiterated previous
expectations of earnings between $5 and $5.20 per share for fiscal 2014.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $5.25 for the year. Its shares
slipped 39 cents to $112.85 in premarket trading.
The St. Louis-based company said it
earned $368 million, or 69 cents per share in the three months ended Nov. 30.
That compares to earnings of $339 million, or 63 cents per share, in last
Revenue climbed 7 percent to $3.1
billion, driven by sales of its Intacta soybean seeds to farmers in Argentina
and Brazil. The biotech engineered soybean, which is the company's first
product designed for a non-U.S. market, repels caterpillars and withstands
Monsanto's herbicide Roundup. Soybean sales grew 16 percent to $267 million for
The company's performance beat the
average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet, who expected earnings of 64
cents per share on sales of $3.069 billion in revenue for the quarter. '
Monsanto, which has dominated the
bioengineered-seed business for more than a decade, expects earnings growth in
the "mid-to-high-teens" for fiscal 2014, based largely on
international seed sales in Latin America, Asia and other emerging markets.
The company's biotech seeds have
genetically engineered traits that the company says benefit farmers enough that
they come out ahead, despite the seeds' higher cost.