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Monsanto Exceeds Profit Expectations

Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed company, posted better-than-expected profit April 2 as revenues grew in its key corn and soybean seed businesses and it benefited from a low tax rate.

Monsanto, a leader in the development of genetically altered crops, said net income was $1.092 billion, or $1.97 a share for the second quarter, which ended Feb. 28, down from $1.129 billion, or $2.02 a share a year ago, due in part to a slide in its herbicide business.

Soleil Securities analyst Mark Gulley said the results were helped by several variables, including a low tax rate, but pure fundamentals were strong. “Corn and soy remain the foundation of the company, and that continues to do well,” said Gulley.

Monsanto said the second quarter saw revenue jump both in its U. S.-branded corn seed and traits business and in its U. S. soybean seed and traits business, while fewer planted acres for corn in Brazil was noted because of drought conditions.

At the same time, sales of Roundup and other herbicides dropped 21 per cent. Company officials said last year, U. S. volume of the Roundup herbicide was up in the second quarter ahead of an anticipated price increase, but this year sales returned to more historical patterns.

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