Monsanto Ups 1Q View on Latin American Results

Encouraged by bullish results from its Latin American segment, seed giant Monsanto (NYSE:MON) raised its fiscal first-quarter guidance on Wednesday above Wall Street’s expectations and reaffirmed its full-year forecast.

The St. Louis-based agricultural products company said it expects to earn 15 cents to 20 cents a share in the current quarter, up from 10 cents to 15 cents previously. Even the low end of the new range would exceed consensus calls from analysts for 13 cents a share.

“Reflecting the company's strategic growth plan, the first quarter is driven primarily by the strength of the business in Brazil and Argentina, with some contribution from timing benefits in the U.S. and Australia,” the company said in a statement.

Monsanto, the world’s largest seed maker, stood by its view for full-year EPS of $3.34 to $3.44, compared with estimates from analysts for $3.46. Free cash flow is also still seen ranging between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion.

Shares of Monsanto gained 1.38% to $73.32 ahead of the open. They had been up just under 4% as of Tuesday’s close.