UPDATE 1-Monsanto loss deeper than expected, shares fall
Oct 2 (Reuters) - Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, reported a deeper quarterly loss on Wednesday as seed sales slipped, and issued a forecast for 2014 below Wall Street forecasts.
The company's shares fell 2.4 percent to $102.94 in premarket trading.
Monsanto, the leading developer of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and other crops, said it expects earnings in the new fiscal year of $5.00 to $5.20, below analysts' average estimate of $5.30, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Monsanto also announced it was acquiring a climate data science company as part of a long-term growth plan. The acquisition of Climate Corp for $930 million will dilute fiscal 2014 earnings by about 14 cents a share, the company said.
Overall, Monsanto lost $249 million, or 47 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $229 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 43 cents a share.
Sales rose to $2.2 billion from $2.1 billion, but sales of its key seeds and genomics business dropped to $1.19 billion from $1.20 billion.
Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was unchanged at 42 percent, but expenses rose to 35 percent of net sales from 34 percent a year earlier.