Monsanto Co.'s stock edged up 0.2% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the agricultural products company reported a fiscal third-quarter profit that beat expectations, but sales that came up a bit shy. For the quarter ended in May, earnings rose to $1.14 billion, or $2.39 a share, from $858 million, or $1.62 a share, in the same period a year ago, above the FactSet consensus of $2.06 a share. Sales increased to $4.58 billion from $4.25 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $4.63 billion. Corn seed and traits sales of $1.52 billion were below the FactSet consensus of $1.63 billion, while agricultural productivity sales of $1.39 billion topped the FactSet consensus of $1.34 billion. For the full fiscal year, Monsanto said it continues to expect EPS to be at the low end of the $5.75-$6 range. Separately, the company said in response to expectations that macro headwinds such as weakening foreign currencies and low commodity prices will continue, the company said it is developing plans to cut spending by $300 million to $500 million by the end of fiscal 2017. The stock has lost 5.6% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.2%.
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