Monsanto loss deeper than expected, forecast weak

Monsanto Co. reported a deeper quarterly loss on Wednesday as seed sales slipped, and its 2014 profit forecast fell short of Wall Street estimates. The company's shares fell 2.2 percent to $102.75 in early trading.

Monsanto said it expects earnings in the new fiscal year, begun September 1, of $5.00 to $5.20 per share, below analysts' average estimate of $5.30, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Monsanto also said it was acquiring a climate data science company as part of a long-term growth plan. The acquisition of San Francisco-based Climate Corp for $930 million will dilute fiscal 2014 earnings by about 14 cents a share, the company said.

Overall, Monsanto lost $249 million, or 47 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $229 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 43 cents a share. Sales rose to $2.2 billion from $2.1 billion, but sales of its key seeds and genomics business dropped to $1.19 billion from $1.20 billion.


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