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Monsanto Profit Jumps 71% on Strong Corn Seed Sales

Monsanto reported on Thursday that quarterly earnings jumped 71 percent, driven partly by surging sales of its genetically modified corn and other seeds.

Monsanto said it posted net income of $570 million, or $1.03 a share, for its third quarter, up from $334 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding a 1 cent-a-share loss for discontinued business, Monsanto earned $1.02 a share.

Analysts on average were looking for $1 a share, according to Reuters Knowledge.

St. Louis-based Monsanto said strong customer demand for its branded corn seed products in the United States, as well as in Italy, France and Germany, contributed to the sharp increase.

Corn prices have rallied on strong demand from the ethanol, food and livestock feed sectors.

The company also reported higher sales of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides in the North America and Europe-Africa regions. But increased sales were partially offset by lower U.S. cotton trait revenue as farmers reduced the number of acres planted to cotton, Monsanto said.

Monsanto on Thursday also revised upward its projections for planting of biotech corn in the United States, and said it was undertaking a three-year, $610 million capital investment for the company's U.S. corn production facilities.

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