Monsanto raises fiscal 2008 e.p.s. guidance

by Eric Schroeder
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NEW YORK — Monsanto Co. today raised its full-year 2008 earnings outlook to $2.70 to $2.80 per share, citing strong demand for its seeds and traits business as well as for Roundup and other herbicides. Previously, the company said it expected earnings in the range of $2.50 to $2.60 per share.

Monsanto also said it expects its glyphosate-based herbicide business to deliver between $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion of gross profit in fiscal year 2008, and seeds and traits to contribute approximately $3.5 billion of gross profit.

"The value of our seeds and traits strategy — and the power of our innovation — is once again playing itself out in our earnings growth and free cash generation," said Brett Begemann, executive vice-president of Monsanto’s global commercial business. "This value is reflected both in the expansion of our seed market share and trait penetration globally, but also in the revival of our Roundup and non-branded glyphosate franchise."

The company’s share price climbed a shade more than 5% in early trading Feb. 12 to $119.95 a share.

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