) reported improved results for the first quarter of fiscal 2014
(ended Nov 30, 2013), with year-over-year improvement in revenues
and earnings. The company recorded adjusted earnings per share
from continuing operations of 67 cents, beating the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 63 cents by 6.3%. Reported earnings were
also more than 62 cents earned a year ago.
On an as-reported basis, the company reported earnings per
share of 69 cents, improving from the year-ago earnings per share
of 63 cents.
First-quarter revenues of $3,143.0 million beat the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $3,091.0 million by 1.7%. Also, revenues
increased 6.9% year over year.
On a segment basis, revenues from Seeds and Genomics decreased
4.5% year over year to $1.7 billion. The decrease was a result of
reduction of corn acres in Latin America, which was partially
offset by a rise in the soybean and corn business. Revenues from
Agricultural Productivity increased 23.9% year over year to $1.5
billion buoyed by favorable demand.
Cost & Margins:
Monsanto's gross profit margin was 50% compared with 48% recorded
in the earlier-year quarter. Operating expenses were recorded at
$998.0 million, which was higher than $888.0 million in the
In the reported quarter, selling, general and administrative,
and research and development expenses, as a percentage of net
sales, were recorded at 19.0% and 13.0%, respectively.
Balance Sheet/Cash Flow:
Exiting fiscal first-quarter 2014, Monsanto's cash and cash
equivalents were approximately $4.5 billion compared with $3.7
billion at the end of fiscal fourth quarter 2013. Long-term debt
was $3.1 billion against $2.1 billion in the prior quarter.
In the reported quarter, cash flow from operations was $1.7
billion compared with $1.6 billion in the year-ago quarter. Total
capital spending was roughly $303.0 million against $133.0
million spent in the quarter ended Nov 2012.
Based on the improved performance, management has reaffirmed its
expectations for fiscal 2014. Earnings per share are expected in
the range of $5.00 to $5.20. On an as-reported basis, the company
expects to earn $5.02 to $5.22 per share.
Management also reaffirmed free cash flow in the range of
$600.0 million to $800.0 million. Cash flow from operating
activities is projected in the range of $2.9 billion to $3.3
Other Stocks to Consider
Monsanto currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked stocks in the industry include
Gruma S.A.B. de CV
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
The Andersons, Inc.
). While Gruma S.A.B. and The Scotts carry a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy), The Andersons holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
ANDERSONS INC (ANDE): Free Stock Analysis
GRUMA SA-ADR B (GMK): Free Stock Analysis
MONSANTO CO-NEW (MON): Free Stock Analysis
SCOTTS MIRCL-GR (SMG): Free Stock Analysis
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