Shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON), provider of agricultural products for farmers, are gaining in trading today after the St. Louis, Missouri-based company raised its full-year earnings outlook. The company also forecast stronger-than-expected fiscal third-quarter profit.
MON shares rose to an intra-day high of $77.35 in trading today, and at last check, the stock was trading 2.26% higher at $76.43 on above average volume of 7.86 million.
Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant said that with greater clarity on the U.S. and European planting seasons, it is clear that MON’s performance reflects an even greater component of business strength and momentum versus timing.
Monsanto said that it would exceed its preliminary U.S. sales targets for its high-end corn seed. The company also noted that premium soybean seed sales would be at the high end of its forecast range. Monsanto, which is the world’s largest seed company, also said that strong performance in the seed and trait business was complemented by higher-than-expected sales in the herbicide business and lawn and garden segment.
Speaking at an investor conference in New York, CEO Grant said that Monsanto expects continued earnings growth next year.
For the fiscal year 2012, MON expects earnings per share to come in between $3.65 and $3.70. This compares with previous forecast of $3.49-$3.54 per share. For the third quarter, the company expects earnings to come in between $1.57 per share and $1.62 per share, compared with Street estimates of $1.29 per share.