Jack Kaskey
June 26, 2013

Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s largest seed company, reported third-quarter earnings fell 3 percent as increased seed-production costs overshadowed rising prices for Roundup herbicide.

Net income dropped to $909 million, or $1.68 a share, in the three months through May, from $937 million, or $1.74, a year earlier, St. Louis-based Monsanto said today in a statement. Per-share profit excluding a legacy tax matter was $1.66, exceeding the $1.59 average of 15 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said profit fell because last year’s U.S. drought required more seed to be shipped from South America in the quarter, and the company didn’t pass on the higher costs to customers. Gross profit in the unit that makes Roundup herbicide gained 31 percent because of higher prices while profit in the larger seed unit declined 10 percent.

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