Leading agricultural products provider
) reported a strong fiscal third quarter 2013 performance. The
company's earnings of $1.66 per share beat the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $1.60 by 3.8%. Also, earnings increased 1.8% year
over year on the back of improved revenues and margins.
Following the third quarter results, Monsanto reaffirmed its
earnings guidance for fiscal 2013.
: Monsanto generated revenues of $4.2 billion in the third
quarter, an increase of 0.7% year over year driven by an
improvement in its global corn business. However, revenues missed
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.4 billion by 4.0%.
On a segmental basis, revenues from the Seeds and Genomics
segment decreased 2.4% year over year in the quarter to $3.1
billion, due to a reduced contribution from the Brazil soybean
Revenues from the Agricultural Productivity segment increased
9.4% in the quarter to $1.2 billion, driven by recovery in market
environment and the company's innovative strategies.
: During the quarter, gross margin was recorded at approximately
53.2%, indicating 280 basis points contraction from 56.0%
registered in the year-ago quarter.
Operating expenses were recorded at $1,024 million, up from
$1,013 million reported in the year-ago period. Selling, general
and administrative expenses, as a percentage of sales, were
recorded at 14.9%, against 15.1% in the year-ago quarter.
Research & development, as a percentage of net sales, were
9.2% versus 8.9% in the year-ago quarter.
: Exiting the third quarter, the company's cash and cash
equivalents stood at approximately $2.9 billion versus $4.4
billion at the end of fiscal second quarter 2013. Long-term debt
was recorded at $2.1 billion, flat compared with the previous
: Management reaffirmed its fiscal 2013 earnings guidance to be
within a range of $4.50-$4.55, reflecting roughly 20%
year-over-year growth. It is believed that this earnings growth
will continue in fiscal 2014 as well. Monsanto maintained its
free cash flow guidance to be within the range of $1.8-$2.0
Net cash provided by operating activities is expected to be in
the range of $2.8-$3.1 billion, while net cash required by
investing activities is likely to be in the range of $1.0-$1.1
Monsanto currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other
stocks worth a look in the agricultural chemicals industry are
American Vanguard Corp.
), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and
), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
AMER VANGUARD (AVD): Free Stock Analysis
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LIMONEIRA CO (LMNR): Free Stock Analysis
MONSANTO CO-NEW (MON): Free Stock Analysis
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