Sorry Food Bulls, Monsanto Just Lowered Its Outlook

corn harvesting, 1940s

Photo: Library of Congress

Everyone’s a food bull nowadays following BHP Billiton’s offer for Potash, and the prospect of all that massive demand for protein coming from the developing world.But in the meantime.. things aren’t all that hot.

Monsanto, which is another kind of food play, just lowered its outlook, although the company uses all kinds of doublespeak to soften the blow.

The company expects ongoing EPS for the fiscal year in the range of $2.40 to $2.45 a share, at the low end of its previous $2.40 to $2.60 guidance range.  This expectation reflects strong quarterly seed and trait sales in Latin America and other international markets, solid fourth-quarter performance of Monsanto’s crop-protection business, and the realisation of discrete tax benefits.  The company continues to expect free cash flow in the range of $400 million to $500 million for the fiscal year.  (For a reconciliation of EPS and free cash flow, see note 1.)  

“Our operating plan for the quarter and the conclusion of the fiscal year focused on delivering on our revised commitments and setting up our business for mid-teens earnings growth going forward,” said Chief Financial Officer Carl Casale.  “With a solid wrap to the quarter, we’ll turn the page and start a new chapter as our growth focus shifts squarely to our seeds-and-traits business.” 

Ha! Lowering range on “strong guarterly seed and trait sales” is pretty fresh.

The stock is off about 2% pre-market.

Click here to see why Potash rejected the big offer from BHP Billiton >

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