30 April 2003 14:28 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--US agrosciences giant Monsanto said Wednesday 2003 first quarter net income excluding special charges declined 16% to $72m (Euro64.9m) on slowing sales of its best selling Roundup herbicide.
For the three-month period ended 31 March, St Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto posted earnings/share (eps) of 28 cents versus 33 cents in the year ago quarter.
Including accounting charges, the company reported 2003 first quarter net income of $60m compared with a $1.7bn loss in the 2002 first quarter.
First quarter 2003 sales declined 6% to $1.1bn on lower sales of Roundup herbicide in the US. The company also reported lower sales of branded soybean seeds and traits in the US and certain herbicides globally.
Said Monsanto chairman and interim chief executive officer and president Frank AtLee: "Our focus is to deliver on our commitments and we have done so with both our earnings and free cash flow generation in the first quarter. We are on-track to meet our commitments to deliver value to shareowners through sustainable cash generation, earnings and increased dividends."
Monsanto said research and development (R&D) expenses declined 3% to $116m.
The company said it expects 2003 eps in the $1.25-1.40 range excluding special charges.
First half 2003 eps is expected to be in the $1.19-1.33 range or 95% of the full-year eps guidance, Monsanto said.
Monsanto is a global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products.
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