Gains from Monsanto exceed expectations as soybean sales soar

Soybean futures

Monsanto Co., a U.S.-based seeds and agrochemicals company, which is in the middle of being bought by Germany’s Bayer AG, reported a better-than-expected quarterly gain as record soybean plantings lifted seed sales.

Shares went up 1 percent and reached a two-year high of $118.47 per share.

Monsanto reaffirmed its earnings per share target and increased its gross profit outlook for its seeds and genomics unit, which sells seeds, licenses biotech traits and sells farm data services.

Record soybean seedings in the United States and Brazil, the top two producers, were a boon for the world's largest seed company.

"There was a lot of acreage that rotated out of corn and into soy and Monsanto was set up really well for that since they had some product launches in soy this year," Edward Jones analyst, Matt Arnold said.

Sales of soybean seed and traints, the second-largest business by revenue, spiked 29.33 percent to $896 million in the third quarter ended May 31.

Monsanto agreed to a $66 billion buyout offer from Bayer in September, that, if approved by regulators, would create a company boasting more than a quarter of the world’s market for seeds and pesticides.

On Wednesday, Monsanto said it was on the process of finalizing the merger by the end of the year and expects to submit merger-related filings to the EU by the end of June.

According to Bayer, it would sell its LibertyLink-branded seeds business to help satisfy competition authorities looking at the Monsanto deal.

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