Monsanto's Stock Slips After Profit, Sales Miss Expectations

Monsanto Co.'s stock fell 0.7% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the agribusiness company reported fiscal second-quarter profit and sales that missed expectations. For the quarter ending February, net earnings fell to $1.43 billion, or $2.92 a share, from $1.67 billion, or $3.15 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding discontinued operations, ongoing EPS was $2.90, below the FactSet consensus of $2.94. Sales declined to $5.2 billion from $5.83 billion, with weakness in both its seeds and genomics and agricultural productivity businesses. The company said full-year earnings were trending toward the low end of its previously-provided EPS outlook of $5.75 to $6, which compares with the FactSet consensus of $5.84. Monsanto said its outlook includes expectations that the negative effect of currency moves would reduce EPS by 35 cents to 40 cents. The stock has lost 5.8% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained. 0.4%.

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