Corn Seed Sales Buoy
Earnings at Monsanto
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: April 3, 2008
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Monsanto said Wednesday
that its fiscal second-quarter earnings
more than doubled on increasingly strong
sales of corn seed and herbicide in the
Monsanto earned $1.13 billion, or $2.02
a share, in the quarter, ended Feb. 29,
up from $543 million, or 98 cents a
share, in the period a year earlier.
Revenue increased more than 45 percent,
to $3.8 billion, from $2.6 billion.
The company said that sales of corn seed
were a standout in the quarter, jumping
to $1.7 billion from $1.2 billion the
The results surpassed the expectations
of analysts surveyed by Thomson
Financial, who had forecast earnings of
$1.72 a share.
For the first half, Monsanto earned
$1.39 billion, or $2.48 a share, up from
$633 million, or $1.14 a share, in the
corresponding period a year earlier.
Revenue rose to $5.88 billion from $4.15
The company forecast a 2008 profit of
$3.15 to $3.25 a share. The analysts had
predicted $3.20. Monsanto earned $1.79 a
share in its last fiscal year ended Aug.
In trading Wednesday, Monsanto’s shares
fell about 1 percent.
Monsanto cited increases in corn seed
revenue in the United States, as well as
higher sales of Roundup and similar
herbicides in North America, Europe and
There have been reports that many
farmers will shift their acreage this
year from corn to soybean production.
Even though corn prices are high, the
cost of products like fertilizer is also
rising fast, making soybeans — which are
heavily in demand — an attractive
Monsanto’s chief financial officer,
Terrell K. Crews, said the shift was not
expected to cut into the company’s
profit because it already dominates the
American soybean seed market.