Monsanto (MON) shares are surging in pre-market trading this morning after the company reported earnings and revenues that exceeded analysts’ estimates and boosted its forecasts for 2013.Right now, the stock is trading up 3.9 per cent.
The global agriculture giant reported earnings of $0.62 per share versus estimates of $0.36 per share, and revenues of $2.94 billion versus the $2.64 billion estimated. For 2013 full-year earnings, the company now estimates it will make $4.30 to $4.40 per share, up from its previous estimate of $4.18 to $4.32.
Monsanto’s big boost in the fourth quarter came from a 27 per cent rise year-over-year in corn seed sales and was also aided by gains in its agricultural productivity business.
Below are more details on how these segments did in Q4 from the press release:
The Seeds and Genomics segment consists of the company’s global seeds and related traits business.
Sales for Monsanto’s Seeds and Genomics segment increased 14 per cent in the first quarter to $1.8 billion, with corn seed and traits performance driving the first quarter strength.
Corn seed and traits net sales increased 27 per cent over last year’s first quarter to $1.1 billion, driven in part by the business strength in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. The trait upgrade and expansion is on track in both Brazil and Argentina where the company is achieving strong demand for its corn products. In Brazil, farmers continue to upgrade from single trait corn products to the first double stack, VT PRO™ 2. In its second year of commercial sales, VT PRO™ 2 is the second-highest volume trait in the company’s Brazil corn portfolio this year. Likewise, in Argentina, the company has also seen strong adoption of its Genuity® VT Triple PRO® product. The triple-stack corn product is on track to be 40 per cent of the company’s Argentine corn portfolio in just its second year on the market.
Complementing the corn performance in Latin America is the early momentum in the U.S. seeds and traits business. Backed by strong cash flow and customer prepayments, the company noted a positive U.S. order book, with the order pace ahead of the same point in time last year. With two years of strong performance, company executives said the U.S. business is in position to grow again in 2013. This includes another increase in acres for both its Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® platform in soybeans and the Genuity® reduced refuge family in corn.
The Agricultural Productivity segment consists of the crop protection products and lawn-and-garden herbicide products.
Net sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 for Monsanto’s Agricultural Productivity segment increased $279 million, reflecting the benefit of a favourable marketplace environment lifting the business in the near-term. The company indicated it remains focused on its established strategy for Roundup® following the reset of that business in 2010.
Monsanto also released its annual R&D outlook in a colourful presentation.