Agriculture Company Monsanto Reported Improved First Quarter Earnings

By Trey Williams Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Monsanto Co. on Thursday reported improved first-quarter revenue and profit compared with the year before. Net income for the quarter was $29 million, or 7 cents per share, vs. a loss of $253 million, or a 56 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings per share, which the seed company described as "ongoing EPS," were 21 cents. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 1 cent. Total sales for the quarter hit $2.7 billion, compared with $2.2 billion during the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus on sales was $2.3 billion. Monsanto offered full-year guidance between $3.97 per share and $4.45 per share, and reconfirmed it's $4.50 to $4.90 range for "ongoing EPS." FactSet forecasts per-share earnings for the year will hit $4.72. Shares of Monsanto are up 8% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 Index is up more than 12%.

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