Monsanto first quarter profit +53%
Monsanto Co. reported that its fiscal first-quarter earnings surged 53% and
the world's biggest seed company said strong early orders for next year's crop
suggest it will hit the high end of its earnings guidance for the full
The company, which makes Roundup herbicide and genetically engineered crops,
earned $90 million for the three months ended Nov. 30, up from $59 million in
the same period of 2005. Sales grew 10% to $1.54 billion from $1.41 billion a
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said
first-quarter growth was largely driven by a big boost in corn seed orders.
Monsanto is aggressively taking market share in the corn seed sector from
old-school seed companies like Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., a division of
the chemical giant DuPont Co.
Monsanto's fiscal year is built around the
agricultural calendar, so the first quarter begins after the summer farming
season. The autumn months are an early indicator of how Monsanto's year will
play out as farmers start placing orders for next year's crop.
forecasts that total soybean acres under production may decrease slightly during
this growing season as farmers increase the number of acres planted to corn in
the United States, given that corn is fetching higher market prices due to
demand for alternative fuels such as ethanol.
For future developments
Monsanto is moving ahead on eight varieties of new crops that will feature
traits like drought tolerance and healthy oil content.
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