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Monsanto Profit Rises, but Outlook Disappoints

Monsanto posted a higher quarterly profit on record revenue from its corn seed and other products, but the stock fell 3 percent on disappointment the company did not raise its full-year earnings forecast.

Monsanto expects ongoing earnings this year in a range of $3.15 to $3.25 per share, affirming its own forecast made just a week ago.

But the Wall Street consensus forecast rose to $3.30 per share following last week's outlook from the company.

Soleil Securities analyst Mark Gulley said he was pleased with Monsanto's results, but felt the company was still being cautious on its full year earnings forecast.

"The key for me is the revised gross profit goals; they've raised their gross profit goal modestly, but it still looks too conservative to me," said Gulley.

The company, a global leader in the development of biotech crops, said net income jumped to $1.1 billion, or $2.02 a share, from $543 million, or 98 cents a share a year earlier.

On an ongoing basis, the company earned $1.79 a share for the second quarter, which ended Feb. 29.

Analysts, on average, were looking for $1.75 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The gains came on record net sales of $3.8 billion, up 45 percent, for the second quarter.

Key drivers for the quarter were increased revenues from the company's U.S.

corn seed and traits business as well as increased revenues from the Brazilian corn seed business.

Results in the quarter also reflected increased revenues from the company's Roundup agricultural herbicides globally, company officials said.

The company reported a 47 percent gain in net sales of corn seed and trait products and a 22 percent jump in soybean seeds and trait products.

Quarterly results were also favorably impacted by 23 cents per share from the settlement of Monsanto's claims in conjunction with the emergence from bankruptcy of chemicals company affiliate Solutia.