Monsanto (MON) beat the Street on Wednesday with an 22% leap in fiscal second-quarter profits amid solid corn seed sales, prompting the world's largest seed maker to upgrade its full-year guidance.
The St. Louis-based company said it earned $1.48 billion, or $2.74 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $1.21 billion, or $2.24 a share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, it earned $2.73 a share, up from $2.28 a share a year earlier and well above the Street’s view of $2.58.
Revenue rose 15% to $5.47 billion, surpassing consensus calls from analysts for $5.27 billion. Gross margins dipped to 56.1% from 57% amid rising costs.
Monsanto’s quarterly results were driven by cord seed and trait sales, which jumped 16.5% year-over-year to $3.28 billion. Soybean seed and traits sales dipped 4.15% to $677 million.
“We've achieved momentum in our business and strong results across our global portfolio,” CEO Hugh Grant said in a statement. “Our performance underscores our expectation for a third consecutive year of strong earnings growth and reinforces our opportunities for the future as well.”
Looking ahead, Monsanto said now expects to generate EPS of $4.40 to $4.50 in the full year, up from $4.30 to $4.40 previously. Analysts had been expecting EPS of $4.58.
Management also reaffirmed its prior guidance for full-year cash flow of $1.8 billion to $2 billion.
Despite the earnings beat and raised guidance, shares of Monsanto inched up just 0.18% to $104.19 in premarket trading Wednesday morning. The company’s stock has already rallied almost 10% year-to-date and just over 30% over the past 12 months.