) fiscal first quarter 2013 (ended November 30, 2012) earnings of
62 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 37 cents
by a solid 68%. Earnings of this company, a leading provider of
agricultural products, also grew a whopping 170% year over year,
driven by solid top-line growth.
Following the solid first quarter results, Monsanto raised its
earnings guidance for fiscal 2013.
The company generated revenues of $2.9 billion in the first
quarter, an impressive increase of 20.5%, driven by growth in
both the business segments. The revenues also surpassed the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $2.6 billion.
On a segmental basis, revenue from the Seeds and Genomics
segment increased 14.4% in the quarter to $1.8 billion driven by
an increase in corn seed and traits net sales in Latin America
and improving trends in the U.S seeds business.
Revenue from the Agricultural Productivity segment increased
30.8% in the quarter to $1.2 billion driven by improving market
During the quarter, gross margin was recorded at approximately
47.5%, indicating an increase of 260 basis points, from 44.9%
recorded in the year-ago comparable quarter.
Operating expenses were recorded at $888 million, up slightly
from $851 million recorded in the year-ago period.
Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percentage of
net sales, were recorded at 18.4% compared with 20.5% recorded a
year ago. On the other hand, Research & Development
(R&D), as a percentage of net sales, was 11.8%, down from
14.4% recorded a year ago.
Balance Sheet/Cash Flow
Exiting the fiscal first quarter, the company's cash and cash
equivalents stood at approximately $4.6 billion versus $3.3
billion at the end of fourth quarter of 2012. Long-term debt was
recorded at $2.1 billion, up from $2.0 billion at the end of the
Net cash provided by operating activities in the quarter came to
$1.6 billion versus $1.1 billion recorded a year ago. Free cash
flow in the period increased 72.1% to $1.5 billion compared with
$856 million a year ago.
Management increased its guidance for ongoing earnings per share
in fiscal 2013 to be within the $4.30-$4.40 range from the
previously announced $4.18-$4.32 per share. Free cash flow is
expected to be within the $1.8-$2.0 billion range.
The net cash provided by operating activities is expected to be
in the range of $2.9 billion to $3.3 billion while net cash
required by investing activities in the range of $1.1 billion to
Currently, the stock carries a Zacks #2 Rank (a short-term Buy
rating) whereas its competitor
) bears a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).
COSAN LTD-A (CZZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
MONSANTO CO-NEW (MON): Free Stock Analysis
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