Monsanto Co.'s soybean seed and traits business posted sales that climbed 29% during the fiscal third quarter, which helped propel the seed giant to better-than-expected results for the period.
Total sales were nearly flat, inching upward 1% to $4.23 billion but still stronger than the $4.17 billion expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
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"In soybeans, Monsanto has seen strong demand for the latest technologies, with growth of approximately 30[%]...in global gross profit now expected for fiscal year 2017," the company said in a press release.
Amid the latest results, Monsanto said it expects full-year earnings on a per-share basis at the high end of the range of $4.09 to $4.55 as well as adjusted earnings of $4.50 to $4.90. Among other factors affecting the current quarter, the company said it expects to benefit from roughly $70 million in noncore asset sales.
Shares rose 0.64% to $118.00 in premarket trading Wednesday.
In the latest quarter, revenue from seeds and genomics, Monsanto's biggest business, fell 2.3% to $3.13 billion despite the strong showing of the soybean seed segment, which is housed in the category. For the quarter, the soybean business surged to $896 million in sales from $693 million.
Key soybean-growing states have approved herbicide mixes for the company's new genetically modified soybean, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend. The seeds were introduced last year, but concerns over EU approval slowed their use.
Monsanto reported income of $843 million, or $1.90 a share, up from $717 million, or $1.63 a share, a year ago.
Excluding certain items, adjusted per-share earnings were $1.93, down from $2.17 a year ago but better than the $1.76 expected by analysts.
Last year, Monsanto agreed to sell itself to Bayer AG after months of haggling, in a $57 billion deal that creates an agricultural powerhouse. The deal ranks as the largest-ever takeover of a U.S. company by a German firm and pivots Bayer heavily toward agriculture in a long-range bet on high-tech crops to sustain a growing global population. The tie-up has been in regulatory reviews in the U.S. Monsanto has said it expects the transaction to close by the end of 2017.
Write to Ezequiel Minaya at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 28, 2017 09:12 ET (13:12 GMT)