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eNews from Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Monsanto 2nd Quarter Profit Fueled by Robust Demand for Corn Seeds, Technology

AP Alert - Agriculture -- April 4, 2007 -- ST. LOUIS -- Monsanto Co., which makes herbicides and genetically modified seeds, said Wednesday robust demand for its corn seeds and technology fueled a 23 percent increase in second-quarter profit.

Net income in the quarter ended Feb. 28 grew to $543 million (euro406.68 million), or 98 cents per share, from $440 million, or 80 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Sales climbed 19 percent to $2.62 billion (euro1.96 billion), from $2.2 billion a year ago, on stronger sales of seeds in the U.S. and herbicides in Brazil, Europe, Africa and Argentina.

Corn seed sales surged 47 percent to $1.19 billion (euro890 million), from $811 million, amid a boom in production of ethanol, which in this country is made largely from corn. The switch to corn came partially at the expense of soybean sales, which fell 17 percent to $373 million.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. Analysts had forecast earnings of 94 cents per share on sales of $2.44 billion (euro1.83 billion), according to Thomson Financial.

U.S. farmers are poised to plant more corn this year than they have since 1944, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Monsanto supplies seeds for corn and other grains that are designed to yield more crop per acre.

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