CHICAGO, Ill. (Reuters) — Monsanto reported a quarterly profit of US$20 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $191 million, as seed licensing deals in the typically low-revenue fourth quarter lifted sales.
Monsanto shares have been trading in the $119-$120 range and have generally risen since April 2016 when the price was around $86.60.
Sales of corn seed and traits, Monsanto’s biggest segment by revenue, rose nearly 16 percent, while soybean seed and traits sales climbed 22 percent in the quarter ended Aug. 31. Overall net sales rose 4.8 percent at $2.68 billion, above the trade’s estimates.
Monsanto typically books most of its annual sales during the second and third quarters when farmers in North and South America, which account for more than three-quarters of total sales, buy seed and other crop inputs.
The company is being acquired by Bayer AG, and investors remain focused on the $128 per share deal that is expected to close early next year.
The deal, if final regulatory approvals were won, would create a company commanding more than a quarter of the world market for seeds and pesticides.
The companies have made all key regulatory filings and secured approval from a third of those regulators, said chief executive officer Hugh Grant.