Monsanto profits jump

CHICAGO, Ill. (Reuters) —Monsanto Co. beat quarterly profit expectations, helped by strong demand for its seeds.

The world’s largest seed supplier said sales of corn seeds and traits rose eight percent, while sales of soybean seeds and traits jumped 10.2 percent in the second quarter ended Feb. 28. American farmers are expected to plant the largest ever combined acreage of corn and soybeans.

Monsanto agreed in September to a US$128-per-share buyout offer from Bayer that, if approved by regulators, would create a company with more than a quarter of the world market for seeds and pesticides.

Monsanto expects full-year ongoing earnings per share at the high end of its forecast range of $4.50 to $4.90 per share for the 2017 fiscal year.

Net profit attributable to Mon-santo rose to $1.37 billion, or $3.09 per share, in the second quarter, from $1.06 billion, or $2.41 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Monsanto earned $3.19 per share, topping analysts’ average estimate of $2.79 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Net sales rose 12 percent to $5.07 billion. Analysts on average expected sales of $4.73 billion.


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