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Monsanto Reports Q4 Profit On Higher Seeds And Genomics Segment Sales

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Monsanto Company (MON) reported fourth-quarter profit per share of $0.20 on an ongoing basis, compared to $0.07 in the same period last year. The company said its ongoing EPS results for the quarter were better than initially projected, mostly due to tax benefits and the fact that the company had the opportunity to grant the right to some key corn licenses in Brazil. The latter resulted in a pre-tax benefit of more than $200 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss per share of $0.41, for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items. Ongoing net income attributable to Monsanto increased to $82 million from $30 million.

Net income attributable to Monsanto was $20 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $191 million, prior year. For the fourth quarter, the company reported profit per share of $0.05 on an as-reported basis compared to a $0.44 loss per share on an as-reported basis, previous year.

Monsanto reported net sales of $2.69 billion for the fourth quarter compared to $2.56 billion, a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $2.53 billion, for the quarter. Seeds and Genomics segment net sales were $1.75 billion compared to $1.57 billion, last year.

The company's fiscal 2017 profit per share on an as-reported basis was $5.09, reflecting both the company's focus on delivering its operational plan and its strategic portfolio management. On an ongoing basis, this translated to profit per share of $5.50. Net sales for fiscal 2017 were $14.6 billion, up more than $1 billion year-over-year, due primarily to record technology adoption for the newest soybean technologies across the Americas and global corn pricing. The company delivered a record year in the Seeds and Genomics segment, with sales hitting $10.9 billion.

Looking forward, Monsanto said, given the pending combination with Bayer, the company will not provide financial guidance for fiscal 2018. In fiscal 2018, the company anticipates completing its restructuring and cost savings initiative that began in fiscal 2015, with the expectation that S,G&A and R&D expenses in fiscal 2018 will be relatively flat year-over-year compared to 2017. Upon completion of the initiative, the company expects to realize nearly $500 million in annual savings as compared to its fiscal 2015 baseline.

by RTT Staff Writer

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