26 June 2008 14:40 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--JP Morgan has raised its fiscal 2009 earnings estimate for US agrichemicals major Monsanto to reflect the company’s expected stronger profitability in its seeds and genomics businesses, it said on Thursday.
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JP Morgan raised its earning per share (EPS) estimate for Monsanto to $4.60, from $4.30 for fiscal 2009 but maintained its fiscal 2008 EPS estimate at $3.55.
Monsanto’s strength in seeds and genomics was highlighted by higher than expected fiscal third-quarter profits in corn seeds and traits, the analysts said.
Monsanto’s EPS of $1.45 for the three months ended 31 May beat market expectations of $1.35 and compares with EPS of $1.02 the company achieved in the year-earlier period, JP Morgan said.
A particular strength were the company’s Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides which benefited from stronger demand in emerging markets and higher average selling prices globally.
As for 2009, the analysts expected increased use of Monsanto-branded seeds in the US, compared with 2008.
The increase would be due to higher mandated US ethanol consumption and an exceptionally strong pricing environment for corn which would lead to US corn plantings of 95m acres or more next year, the analysts said.
Commenting on 2008
An estimated 1m-3m of incremental acres were lost due to a late spring planting season in the US Midwest this year and subsequent severe flooding, the analysts said.
Monsanto’s shares closed down 3.14%, at $131.52, on Wednesday in
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