Monsanto slashes earning expectation on low crop prices

(Reuters) — Monsanto Co. has slashed its earnings forecast for the year, hurt by a strong U.S. dollar and low prices for its seeds as farmers curb spending.

The company is also under pressure because of the ongoing merger between DuPont and Dow Chemical Co., which could shake up the industry.

Monsanto had warned in January that the souring farm economy and currency woes would push its 2016 earnings to the lower half of its original forecast in December.

Monsanto said it now expects adjusted earnings per share of $4.40 to $5.10, compared with the $5.10 to $5.60 it had forecast in December.

Twenty-five to 30 cents of the reduction in the earnings per share outlook is due to the impact of the stronger dollar, Monsanto said.

The company also trimmed its cash flow forecast for the year to $1.4 to $1.6 billion from $1.6 to $1.8 billion.

Monsanto said it now expects full-year net earnings per share of $3.42 to $4.29, down from its previous forecast of $4 to $4.66.

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