Monsanto Earnings Rise Behind Higher Seed Sales

Monsanto reported higher second-quarter profit Wednesday behind increased sales in seeds and in its herbicide and crop-protection business.

Net income for the agricultural giant for the quarter ending February 28 jumped 28.7 percent to $1.4 billion.

“We are delighted to have delivered such an excellent first half and strong second quarter, in the face of what is still a tough macro economy for agriculture,” said Monsanto chief executive Hugh Grant.

Within seeds and genomics, Monsanto cited strong profit growth from both corn and soybeans. Sales in its agricultural productivity business, which includes the weed-killer Roundup, also rose compared with the year-ago period.

Monsanto has agreed to be acquired by German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer for $66 billion. The deal is being scrutinized by antitrust regulators, along with other large pending transactions.

On Tuesday, US antitrust regulators approved ChemChina’s $43 billion takeover of Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta after they agreed the Chinese company must sell three products.

Monsanto’s earnings translated into $3.19 per share, more than the $2.79 expected by analysts.

Shares of Monsanto rose 1.7 percent to $116.65 in pre-market trading.

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