Monsanto raises 2008 e.p.s. guidance

by Eric Schroeder
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ST. LOUIS — Upside from its seeds and traits and Roundup businesses has led the Monsanto Co. to raise its 2008 earnings per share guidance and predict better-than-expected second-quarter profit.

The company said it now expects full-year e.p.s. of $3.38 to $3.48, including a gain of 23c per share for a settlement of claims related to a subsidiary’s emergence from bankruptcy. Excluding that gain, the company expects earnings between $3.15 and $3.25.

The company previously expected earnings in the range of $2.70 to $2.80 per share.

The company said its seeds and traits business will contribute in the range of $3.6 billion to $3.7 billion in gross profit for fiscal year 2008, up 20% from gross profit in fiscal 2007.

Monsanto also said its Roundup and other herbicide businesses have performed well in the quarter behind strong demand.

For the second quarter, e.p.s. is expected to be in the range of $1.98.

Monsanto will report its second-quarter financial results April 2.

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