Monsanto 4Q loss widens on lower sales

October 7, 2009 7:28:47 AM PDT
Monsanto Co., the world's biggest seed maker, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter loss widened to $233 million in the fourth quarter on a decrease in revenue, led by a drop in sales of its Roundup herbicide brand.

Its adjusted earnings narrowly beat Wall Street estimates, however.

Monsanto said its loss amounted to 43 cents per share in the quarter ended Aug. 31. That's larger than its loss of $172 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier.

When one-time items are excluded, Monsanto said it earned 2 cents per share on an ongoing basis, beating Wall Street estimates for earnings of 1 cent per share. The estimates typically exclude one-time items.

The company posted a $114 million charge for its restructing plan that began this that will cut 900 jobs, or 4 percent of its workforce.

Revenue fell to $1.88 billion from $2.05 billion the previous year.

Sales in Monsanto's seed and genomics division fell nearly 4 percent to $908 million during the quarter. Sales in the agricultural chemical division, which includes Roundup herbicide, fell 12.5 percent to $971 million.

The company's stock rose 8 cents to $75.44 in morning trading.

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