Tags: Monsanto | Genetic-Crop | seeds | planting | us | economy | seed

Monsanto’s Genetic-Crop Play

By    |   Friday, 22 Apr 2011 01:14 PM

At the intersection of agriculture and biotechnology stands the chemical giant Monsanto (MON). It has carved out a niche for itself as the world’s largest seed company.

Given the growth in both the agriculture and biotechnology sectors, the company has plenty of room to expand profits. That makes Monsanto’s stock a compelling possibility.

The company reported that net income jumped 15 percent in the quarter ended Feb. 28, to $1.02 billion from $887 million in the year-earlier period. Sales climbed 6.1 percent to $4.13 billion.

This year is unfolding just as the company forecast. It left its earnings estimate for the year unchanged after releasing the latest results. "We have the right pieces and the right execution to feel very good that mid-teens earnings growth in 2011 is on track," Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant said in a statement.

In a conference call with analysts, he said the company won’t try to raise its prices to match increases in grain prices. That’s because it’s trying to convince farmers to use its new modified corn and soybean seeds.

While some analysts view that pricing decision as a negative, it makes sense for the long term. The more farmers that accept Monsanto’s new products, the better. And it’s difficult to get anyone to try any new and unknown product without a price incentive.

“We are not a fertilizer stock,” Grant said. “We need to price to the demonstrated value we deliver to that farm.”

Analysts say the company is recovering from its woes of the past few years, which included generic competition for one of its top herbicides and farmer rebellion against a new premium corn seed. Sales of Monsanto's high-end biotech corn seeds and soybean seeds are on course to meet the company’s goals.

“We look for an 8 percent revenue increase for fiscal year 2011, ending in August, driven largely by volume gains and a shift in mix as the latest corn and soybean seed hybrids are rolled out,” writes Standard & Poor’s analyst Kevin Kirkeby.

Combined with a reduction in the Monsanto’s costs, that will lead to an expansion of its profit margins, he says.

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At the intersection of agriculture and biotechnology stands the chemical giant Monsanto (MON). It has carved out a niche for itself as the world s largest seed company. Given the growth in both the agriculture and biotechnology sectors, the company has plenty of room to...
Monsanto,Genetic-Crop,seeds,planting,us,economy,seed,agriculture,biotechnology
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2011-14-22
Friday, 22 Apr 2011 01:14 PM
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