In the world of
, there is no name more prolific than
) - the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate and
the second biggest producer of genetically engineered seeds. With a
market cap of over $54 billion, investors pay close attention to
this bellwether, following the company's news and key earnings
On Wednesday before the opening bell, Monstanto reported its
third-quarter earnings report, posting both hits and misses. The
company managed to beat earnings estimates, but quarterly profit
and sales missed the mark.
Weak Seed Sales and Higher Costs Hinder Profit
In its third quarter, Monsanto reported a profit of $909 million,
or $1.68 per share, down from last year's $937 million recording.
Earnings from continuing operations, however, came in at $1.66 per
share, up from $1.63 a year earlier and above the estimated $1.60
Net sales inched 0.7% higher in the third quarter to $4.25 billion,
below the forecasted $4.41 billion. The company's seed and genomics
business - its largest revenue contributor - saw a 2.4% decline in
sales to $3.05 billion, mainly driven by declines in cotton and
Also in its report, Monsanto slightly raised its outlook for 2013.
The bellwether expects earnings to come in between $4.50 and $4.55
Quoted in the company's press release, CEO of Monsanto
discussed the latest results: "Our optimism reflects the expanding
opportunity we see to unlock successive layers of growth next year
and beyond as our focus on farmers, new product platforms and
operating efficiency combine to build continued momentum."
This month, however, Monsanto found itself in hot water after
unapproved genetically modified wheat
was discovered in an Oregon field by Oregon State University and
the USDA. Though the company stressed that this was an isolated
incident caused by some kind of sabotage, shares of Monsanto took a
significant beating, falling more than 5.8% in one week.
Year-to-date, however, the stock is up nearly 5.5%:
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Editor's note: This article by Daniela Pylypczak was originally